For thousands of years, only the Nasioi knew of Panguna, a valley between the mountains that were Bougainville Island’s backbone.

Then, bachelor geochemist Ken Phillips (left, at Kieta, Bougainville, with friend), walked to Panguna valley and took some water samples.

Five years later Panguna became the world’s largest mining operation.

(The Nasioi (Nas-you-ee) are Bougainvilleans that live in Kieta and around Panguna.  They speak the Nasioi language.)

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