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Communities that live along Papua New Guinea's snaking Sepik River have a deep, even spiritual connection to the waterway. They say an ambitious mine project threatens the river.
Asia Insight

China-backed mining deepens Papua New Guinea's golden dilemma

COVID raises economic need but history of disputes and Beijing's rise fuel opposition

ELIZABETH BEATTIE, Contributing writer | Papua New Guinea

HONG KONG -- When the COVID-19 pandemic shrank Papua New Guinea's economy, the country looked to what one top official branded the "devil" for answers.

In April, the PNG government reversed its long-running efforts to stop Canadian conglomerate Barrick Gold and Chinese partner Zijin Mining from running the Porgera gold mine in the highlands. It opted instead to renew its partnership with the companies and end its legal dispute with them.

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