Banaba: A Tropical Paradise Destroyed by Mining

In the Pacific Ocean, midway between Papua New Guinea and Hawaii, there’s a small island named Banaba belonging to a scattered crew of islands referred to as the Gilberts. Before European touch, Banaba was once a fantastic coral island wealthy in animal and plant lifestyles and with a thriving neighborhood that shared shut hyperlinks to other people of Kiribati.

In 1900, a New Zealand prospector named Albert Ellis operating for the Pacific Islands Company came upon that the outside of Banaba was once fabricated from petrified guano that had over time metamorphosed into top grade Phosphate rock. Around the similar time, phosphate in Nauru was once additionally came upon. Nauru being a German territory on the time, and Banaba a British protectorate, the Pacific Islands Company joined arms with a mining corporate in response to Hamburg and shaped a brand new corporate—the Pacific Phosphate Company (PPC) to interact in phosphate mining in Nauru and Banaba, then referred to as Ocean Island.

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The serrated floor of the island of Banaba—the results of 80 years of mining. Photo credit score: Janice Cantieri

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