Associate Professor Nick Bainton

Principal Research Fellow

Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining
Sustainable Minerals Institute


Nick’s research broadly focusses on the anthropology of resource extraction, with attention to large-scale mining in Melanesia, and Papua New Guinea in particular. His work combines long-term ethnographic research and extensive engagement with the resources industry. He is one of a small number of scholars worldwide bridging the social and operational aspects of resource extraction. Nick’s research and publications span numerous interrelated topics including the social impacts and political economy of resource extraction, resettlement, project-induced in-migration, sacred geographies, cultural heritage management, and the articulation between resource economies and mortuary ritual and ceremonial exchange. He is currently developing a research program on company-community benefit sharing agreements, and on the ways in which mining agreements shape the social outcomes of mine closure.

Research Interests

  • Anthropology of mining and extractives
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Mining company-community benefit sharing agreements
  • Cultural heritage management


  • B Arts (Honours), The University of Adelaide
  • PhD, University of Melbourne


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View all Supervision



Book Chapter

  • Bainton, Nicholas A. (2017). Migrants, labourers and landowners at the Lihir Gold Mine.. In Colin Filer and Pierre-Yves Le Meur (Ed.), Large-scale mines and local-level politics : between New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea (pp. 313-351) Canberra, ACT, Australia: ANU Press.

  • Bainton, N.A. and Macintyre, M. (2016). Mortuary ritual and mining riches in Island Melanesia. In David Lipset and Eric K. Silverman (Ed.), Mortuary dialogues: death ritual and the reproduction of moral community in pacific modernities (pp. 110-132) New York, NY, United States: Berghahn.

  • Bainton, N. A. (2015). The Lihir language in modern social and historical context. In Karl Neuhaus (Ed.), Grammar of the Lihir Language of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea (pp. xiii-xxiv) Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies.

  • Bainton, Nicholas A. and Macintyre, Martha (2013). "My land, my work": business development and large-scale mining in Papua New Guinea. In Fiona McCormack and Kate Barclay (Ed.), Engaging with capitalism: cases from oceania (pp. 139-165) Bingley, W Yorks, United Kingdom: Emerald. doi:10.1108/S0190-1281(2013)0000033008

  • Bainton, Nicholas A. (2011). Are You Viable? Personal avarice, collective antagonism and grassroots development in Melanesia. In Mary Patterson and Martha Macintyre (Ed.), Managing modernity in the Western Pacific (pp. 231-259) St Lucia, QLD, Australia: University of Queensland Press.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor