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August 19, 2012

Selwyn Hopley emailed from Maleny in Queensland:

Hi There,

I have noticed your Bougainville website before but did nothing about it. I am now retired and would like to add my name to the list of people who worked on the Bougainville Copper Project and enjoyed the experience immensely.

I worked for Morrison Knudsen Fluor as a surveyor in 1970 initially building the access road up to the mine and based at Camp 5 at Nairovi and arrived just after the big slip occurred on the road. I then transferred up to Camp 4 at Panguna setting out the road down to the Jaba River and mine structures including the primary crusher. In 1971 I moved down to Arawa working for Thiess Bros surveying the roads and infrastructure for the new Arawa Township. I had a great time on Bougainville with an overland walk down to Buin through the Jungle with some mates during the big strike in 1970 and a look at Admiral Yamamoto’s Betty bomber on the way. Also climbing Mt Balbi in 1971 with 3 friends after flying up to the Rotokas village airstrip on its flanks in a Missionary Aviation Fellowship Cessna.

I spent several years off and on after this contracting on PNG projects such as the Highlands Highway, Ok Tedi Copper & Gold Mine, Misima Gold Mine, Lihir Gold Mine, Kutubu Oil and Gobi Oil Fields mainly in a fly in / fly out role. I think I can honestly say that these were some of the best and most interesting years of my life so far.

I am now watching the grass grow up in Maleny on the Blackall Range above Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland and enjoying the sound of the birds and the cows off to milking.

Regards,

Selwyn Hopley
email selhopley[AT]optusnet.com.au