10 Sep 2012

Governor of PNG's New Ireland province opposes seabed mining

4:09 am on 10 September 2012

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's New Ireland province Sir Julius Chan says he is strongly opposed to seabed mining taking place in his province.

His comment comes as local opposition is growing to the Solwara 1 project in which Canadian company Nautilus Minerals has a license to mine the Bismarck Sea for copper and gold.

Nautilus claims the project will cause little environmental damage.

Sir Julius says there's no need for New Ireland to allow its all important marine environment to be put at risk.

He says Nautilus has not shown him thorough independent research that shows the project is safe.

"Until I am fully satisfied, I have grave reservation and I don't really care how much commitment the state has made to nautilus, how they got in, I'm not really interested in that. I want to make sure that the future of my people is adequately protected."

Sir Julius Chan.