23 Mar 2020

PNG community demands deep sea mining licences are cancelled

From , 5:01 am on 23 March 2020

Communities in New Ireland in Papua New Guinea remain worried foreign companies may still get to mine the ocean floor near their island. 

The aid organisation Caritas organised a discussion on the issue last week in Port Moresby and one participant was John Momora of the community group, Solwara  Warriors.

Last year Nautilus Minerals, the company that planned to develop Solwara One - the world's first planned deep sea mining operation in the Bismarck Sea.

But in November Nautilus was delisted from the Toronto stock exchange with the PNG taxpayer losing hundreds of millions of dollars that the government had invested in the company, using borrowed funds.

The PNG government later backed a Pacific call for a ten year moratorium on deep sea mining.

However as Mr Momora told Don Wiseman there is still a concern that other companies could pick up where Nautilus failed and it wants the exploration licences that had been provided to Nautilus cancelled.

Sampling copper under the sea

Sampling copper under the sea Photo: Nautilus Minerals