Economy, Mining and Manufacturing
Lihir Island, Ok Tedi, Porgera, crude materials, important exports
Extractive activities, especially mining, are the most important contributors to Papua New Guinea’s cash economy. In the mid-1990s, crude materials, mineral fuels, and gold generated 70 percent of export earnings. By far, the most important exports are copper and copper concentrates, which in most years account for more than 50 percent of export earnings. Mining for ores rich in copper and gold and containing some silver began at Panguan on Bougainville in 1972 and at Ok Tedi in the northwestern highlands in 1984. Political turmoil on Bougainville, however, has halted mining there. Gold mining began in the late 1980s at Porgera, near Ok Tedi; on Misima Island, off the southeast coast; and on Lihir Island, off New Ireland.
Most of the country’s manufacturing industry is limited to producing basic consumer items such as processed food, beer and other beverages, and textiles. Wood products are also important.
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