This paper examines Papua New Guinean participation in mining from the perspective of furnishing labor. It throws light not just on current employment arrangements but also on the historical emergence of the local miner and wider canvas of age-old attitudes and traditions influencing workers' perspectives on work. Analysis of a variety of data collected through interviews, document analysis, and direct observations of a number of events in Porgera and other mines indicate that Papua New Guinean mine workers are in a transitional phase of becoming full-fledged workers. Many of the current challenges stem from the recent introduction of capitalism into the previously predominantly subsistence sector. However, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that local mine workers are becoming more attached to paid work and this attitude is embraced by an increasing number of educated and skilled workers. This trend is set to continue as more mines become operational and as the country in general develops economically.