PNG earthquakes raise concerns over seabed mining project

1:10 pm on 15 October 2018

A campaigner against deep sea mining says recent earthquakes in Papua New Guinea's Islands region mean a proposed mining project is a disaster waiting to happen.

Seabed mining machinery

Seabed mining machinery Photo: Mike Smith

On Thursday last week, a magnitude 7.0 quake struck off the south coast of New Britain island, the second major quake in the area this year.

Meanwhile, Canadian company Nautilus Minerals is pushing ahead with its Solwara 1 project, which will dredge the seafloor between the islands of New Ireland and New Britain.

Helen Rosenbaum from the Deep Sea Mining Campaign said the seismic activity only makes the project more of a threat to PNG.

"It's a disaster waiting to happen. It could be an explosion of plumes at different levels, of sediment at different levels in the water columns from a broken ... pipe.

"And goodness knows how far they will travel at that point and where they might end up in the food chain and what organisms will be smothered."

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