Deep sea mining to have zero impact: Nautilus

Nautilus Minerals has boldly stated that Solwara 1 Deep Sea Mine will have zero impact on marine life and coastal communities in New Ireland Province.

This was affirmed during a site tour of Nautilus’s Seafloor Productions Tools outside Port Moresby (SPT) by local leaders from New Ireland Province.

Nautilus said the technology employed for the project did not require explosives or chemicals and are confident there will not be any environmental impact.

Several local and provincial leaders from New Ireland Province, arrived in Port Moresby on Monday to see first hand the seafloor Production Tools being tested at Motukea Island outside the capital city.

The tour is part of Natuilus’s continuous effort to educate leaders and New Irelanders about the operation of the SPT’s which they assured will have no impact on the marine life and coastal villages.

Nautilus Vice President of PNG Operations, Adam Wright, gave a presentation about how the mining operations will be carried out, highlighting the technology used that will avoid any adverse impact.

“There will be no impact on the fish, there will be no impact on the reef and on the coastal communities,” said Wright.

The leaders had a close look at SPT’s which will be used on the sea floor of the Solwara 1 Project.

They included the bulk cutter (BC) and collecting machine (CM). The auxiliary cutter (AC), the third in Nautilus;s arsenal, was undergoing live tests while a tour of the control room was also included.

One local leader said after the tour that while they appreciate Nautilus’s efforts in educating them on how their operations will not affect the livelihoods of the people, he said they are still unsure but will only see the outcome.

He added they have agreements and understandings in place to ensure Nautilus carry’s out its business with the interest of the people at heart.

“Gavman givim tok orait pinins lo displa mine so mipla bai lukluk tasol. But yes mipla gat ol disla (agreements) where bai mipla toktok long em,” said John Ezra of Ward Four Namatanai LLG.

while the Mining Lease for the project had been branted in 2011, production equipment for the project is still in development.

While tests on the SPT’s are still underway , the ‘Riser and Lifting System (RALS)  has just been completed and undergoing assessments while the mssive Production and Support Vessel (PSV) is still in development.

Nautilus expects first shipment from Solwara 1 Mine to begin in 18 months time after putting the project together for the last 10 years.

Cedric Patjole