27 Aug 2012

Canada's Nautilus says PNG sea mining project will be transparent

4:13 am on 27 August 2012

The chief executive officer of Nautilus Minerals says the Canadian-based company is committed to an open and transparent approach to its Solwara 1 deep sea mining project in Papua New Guinea.

In the world's first major deep sea mining operation, Nautilus has a twenty-year license to mine the Bismarck Sea for copper and gold.

Nautilus faces strong local opposition to the project, with environmentalists warning that too much is unknown about the impacts for it to proceed.

But the CEO, Stephen Rogers says that they're confident the project's closed system of mineral extraction will minimise damage in surface waters from mining the seabed.

"And what I would say to the people of Papua New Guinea is that we've got a very well-engineered system, we've used world leading practice. We've brought in technologies from the mining industry and the deep water oil and gas industry, that allow us to bring this material to the surface. it's going to be done safely. And we're not going to impact commercial fisheries or local fisheries with the activities that we're doing here."

Stephen Rogers says they have consulted widely with both local communities and scientists about the likely impacts.