Examining interactions, perceptions, and benefit streams during mineral exploration in Papua New Guinea

Crawford School of Public Policy | ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

Event details

PhD Seminar

Date & time

Thursday 02 February 2023


Seminar Room 8, JG Crawford Building 132, Lennox Crossing, ANU


PhD candidate, Gretchen Druliner

Additional links

Thesis Proposal Review (TPR) hybrid seminar by PhD candidate, Gretchen Druliner. This presentation examines current practices of mineral exploration community and stakeholder engagement in remote/rural Papua New Guinea (PNG). At this time, there are 7 operating mines in PNG, contrasted with 189 open mineral exploration licenses. Exploration activities of the extractive industries often operate on ambiguous and uncertain timeframes with little government regulation and may produce sparse contact with the local community and no further development. Other explorations can last decades and involve the construction of camps for drillers and geologists, establishment of routes for helicopter traffic, building of tracks for drill rigs, the trenching of the landscape by bulldozers, and lead to prolonged interaction and exchange between the exploration crew and the local community. During the years of exploration activities, which may or may not conclude in extractive development and production, the host community is impacted in ways which may (re)articulate power relations, allow for opportune land grabs, heighten social risks, and create norms for benefit streams. Overlapping masculinities between the exploration crew and the local patriarchal Melanesian culture may create early advantages for men while exacerbating inequalities for women. Working from Connell’s (2007) Southern Theory, I examine the gendered hierarchies and intersectional nature of exchange and benefit between an exploration crew/company and the host community in two PNG exploration sites in West New Britain. My research fills the gap in the literature, research, and knowledge surrounding exploration community engagement and the associated consequences that are often gendered. Biography Gretchen Druliner has a background in biology and hydrology. She has worked in Papua New Guinea studying avian seed dispersal, and worked in and around mining in multiple capacities, including geotechnical, drilling coordination, and community outreach and education. Gretchen is interested in the confluence of human activities in the natural world, gender and masculinity. Panel members: Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, Colin Filer, Nicholas Bainton

Updated:  2 February 2023/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team