Deep sea mining

No deep-sea mining in PNG: PM

During his visit on Monday to the Community Affairs and National Content Conference and Expo in Lae, Prime Minister James Marape told the media that the Melanesian Spearhead Group has resolved to refuse deep-sea mining unless technology and research suggest otherwise. 

“Until technology and studies show that it can be done in an environmentally sensitive manner,” he told media. “You know, Papua New Guinea’s waters have the most fertile ground for tuna in the Pacific so we are also mindful about this.”

Cancel all deep sea mining licences: Locals

This was the view shared by seabed mining advocates, together with locals of West Coast Namatanai and representatives of Duke of York Islands, East New Britain Province, during an open forum in Namatanai.

After the gathering, a joint statement was issued, saying: “As New Irelanders we have two world class mining in Lihir and Simberi gold mine. We have logging operations and oil palm industry operating in the Province. We have run down plantations that can be used for cocoa or copra project that support local people.

Sir David Attenborough against Deep Sea Mining

He sighted BBC video footage of the heavy duty machinery brought in by deep sea miner Nautilus Minerals recently.

He fears the prospect of rare forms of life being wiped out.

 “It’s heart breaking”.

He told the BBC that he is horrified at the idea of the destruction of hydro thermal vents.

“That’s where life began and we shouldn’t be destroying these things, it’s so deeply tragic, I mean that humanity just plough on with no regard for the consequences because they don’t know what they are. “

Deep sea mining to have zero impact: Nautilus

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.

Deep sea mining hyped by vested interests, but serious concerns remain

But other research suggests there remain serious concerns about the new, untested DSM industry.

DSM involves mining rich deposits of minerals on the sea floor. Some deposits exist as nodules that can be vacuumed up. Others form from hydrothermal vents that spew out minerals over thousands of years, creating rich beds of deposits. These vents sustain unique deep sea ecosystems that rely on the venting chemicals for survival. DSM puts such ecosystems at risk.

Pacific countries discuss options for deep sea minerals

Effective management of this revenue will be critical to ensure that long term benefits are realised.

Through the European Union Deep Sea Minerals Project, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is partnering with the International Monetary Fund and the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre to hold a workshop in Nadi this week (24-27 August) that focuses on the management of revenue emanating from deep sea minerals development.