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The Australian National University

The Pacific Economic Bulletin is not longer being published and will be incorporated into a new journal, Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies. To enquire about the new journal please email

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Issue:Pacific Economic Bulletin - Volume 25, Number 3, 2010

Author:Daniel Evans

Title:Tensions at the Gold Ridge mine, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands

Abstract:The takeover of the Gold Ridge mine by Guadalcanal militants in June 2000 followed two years of civil conflict largely involving groups from the islands of Malaita and Guadalcanal, resulting in the evacuation of Malaitans from the mine area. This article traces the history of the conflict around the mine site and explores the underlying reasons for the takeover of the mine. Two rationales for the takeover are advanced: the securing of weapons and other materials to support the conflict, and ideological opposition to resource extraction, particularly gold mining. Resource-related grievances rather than greed provide the main explanation for the takeover and looting. Key concerns registered against the mine include a lack of jobs for locals and regional disappointment over the distribution of the mine’s revenue.

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