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|Two events during the past decade have combined to effectively alter the role of the geologist working in Papua New Guinea. The gold boom of the 1980s resulted in a substantial increase in the general awareness at village level of mining companies, gold and landowner issues, and as a consequence of the Bougainville tragedy, landowners are also very much aware of the potential problems of a mining operation in their area. Landowners know they have the power to remove a company from a project area, and government has shown itself to be virtually powerless and unable to help the company effectively. During a considerable proportion of a project's development time, the project geologist is viewed in the eyes of the local community as the 'company'. Good landowner relationships are nurtured over a reasonable time period and the input of the geologist is significant in determining the eventual fate of company-landowner relationships. The initial impressions of the company, gathered by the local community, will have a far reaching impact on the nature and direction of their future exchanges with the company.|