7 May 2012

Concerns in Cook Islands over impact and management of seabed mining

8:04 am on 7 May 2012

The Cook Islands environmental NGO Te Ipukarea Society says questions over the impact and management of seabed mining must be answered before mining goes ahead.

The government is finalising plans to implement the Seabed Minerals Act 2009 and is considering a proposal by a Canadian company wanting exploration licenses.

A spokesperson for Te Ipukarea Society Teina McKenzie says the organisation has a number of concerns it hopes the government will address before the bill is passed.

"Either before or during the finalisation of this bill, a comprehensive cost benefit study should be undertaken, looking at the environmental impacts as well as the social impacts on our community and another is a comprehensive baseline study that will determine some of the biodiversity that exists in our ocean depths."

Teina McKenzie says there will be huge economic benefits for the Cook Islands if seabed mining is well managed.