Any development project has its problems. It’s part of the engineer’s life to overcome them. The Panguna exploration and development project on Bougainville island had its share. While these can sometimes be impressive, it’s typically all just in a day’s work.
Digging into the steep hillsides at Panguna made the resulting cuts unstable. Some heavy rains brought landslides and washouts.
A landslide washed out an abutment of a temporary bridge over Barapinang creek. The bridge consisted of planks nailed across a pair of huge tropical hardwood logs.
I couldn’t help but wonder what the exotic wood in these logs would be worth in Europe or America, if sawed into decorative lumber.
An exploration drill precariously perched on a narrow cut into a steep hillside was hit by a small landslide. The tripod supporting the drill pipes was bent and leaning over, and the drill stem itself was bent. It took a few hours of bulldozer work before the drillers could re-enter the drill hole and continue their work. The drill itself had only minor damage.