23 Feb 2012

Call for PNG government to establish citizens mining council

4:45 am on 23 February 2012

A Papua New Guinea marine conservation group is calling on the government to establish a citizens' council to advise on deep sea mining projects.

PNG is the first country in the world to have issued a lease for deep sea mining, with the Canadian company Nautilus Minerals scheduled to start work in the Bismarck Sea in 2013.

The national co-ordinator of Mas Kagin Tapani says local people oppose the project but illiteracy stops them from taking any real part in the consultation process.

Wenceslaus Magun says members of a PNG deep sea mining citizens advisory council would be elected community representatives providing information to the public and government.

"This body should be funded by the government of the day or even better by the mining company themselves. So this is our next call to the government of Papua New Guinea and to Nautilus."

Wenceslaus Magun says such a body could engage independent scientists to work along with it.