19 Jul 2013

SPC urges Pacific countries to use deep sea mining guide

3:58 pm on 19 July 2013

Pacific Island governments are being urged to get all the information they can before allowing deep sea mining to take place in their waters.

This week, an Australian company, Bluewater Metals, addressed the community in the capital of the Temotu province in Solomon Islands about its exploratory drilling work in regional waters.

Local people there are calling for more consultation before any mining goes ahead and, if it does so, to be preparing to demand a share of the profits.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community's director general, Jimmie Rodgers, says its guide for Pacific Island governments on deep sea mining outlines how the benefits should be shared.

"Because normally you'd have the company gets the most of it, then government gets a portion of it and how much of what government gets goes to resource owners. I think it's very important that those things are clarified way up front."

Jimmie Rodgers says ill-informed countries risk mining companies taking advantage of them.