The mine at Panguna was opened in 1972 and majority-owned by Rio Tinto. It was important to the economy of Papua New Guinea, but the people of Bougainville were seeing little benefit from it. The first Bougainville independence movement arose in the late 1960s, as people aired their grievances against the Australian colonial government over the handling of the Panguna mine. Later, after Papua New Guinea became independent of Australia, Francis Ona from Bougainville warned in August 1988 that patience was running out. He established the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA): that "the only way is for us to shut the mine". Powerlines, transportation, the telecommunications station and the international air terminal were blown up. By the end of 1988, the mining operation had been forcibly halted.