RONPhos Handover Day and was established in Nauru in 2017 to remember the handing over of formerly British-owned phosphate mines in Nauru to local control. It is celebrated every 1 July.
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The island of Nauru is essentially a rocky extrusion of phosphate rock that juts up out of the Pacific Ocean. This means it has long had huge phosphate mines that are extremely valuable. At one time, this mineral wealth made Nauru the nation with the highest per capita income on the planet.
At first, during colonial times, the BPC (British Phosphate Commission) controlled mining and shipping on the island. Later, control was transferred to the NPC (Nauru Phosphate Corporation.) In 2002, however, the mining industry suffered huge setbacks, which led to a restructuring and renaming of the company to RONPhos (Republic of Nauru Phosphate Corporation.) When mining opened up again on 1 July, 2005, it was a very significant event for the people of Nauru and so became the basis for the date of RONPhos Handover Day.