27 Oct 2014

Vanuatu chiefs hesitant to approve deep sea mining

7:23 am on 27 October 2014

Vanuatu's National Council of Chiefs, Malfatumauri, will not take a position on deep sea mining until after villages around the country have been consulted by the Government.

Sampling copper under the sea

Sampling copper under the sea Photo: Nautilus Minerals

The chief executive of Malfatumauri, Jean Pierre Tom, says chiefs will make a resolution on the Government's proposed deep sea mining bill based on what the people want.

Mr Tom says during the first round of consultations in Port Vila earlier this month, the members of the Malfatumauri reserved their right to keep silent on the issue.

However, our correspondent says most of them have reservations about the proposal for foreign companies to mine minerals from the seabed.