The Phaserl


Papua New Guinea’s seabed to be mined for gold and copper

Government approves world’s first commercial deep-sea mining project despite vehement objections over threat to marine life

by Oliver Milman, TheGuardian:

A “new frontier” in mining is set to be opened up by the underwater extraction of resources from the seabed off the coast of Papua New Guinea, despite vehement objections from environmentalists and local activists.

Canadian firm Nautilus Minerals has been granted a 20-year licence by the PNG government to commence the Solwara 1 project, the world’s first commercial deep sea mining operation.

Nautilus will mine an area 1.6km beneath the Bismarck Sea, 50km off the coast of the PNG island of New Britain. The ore extracted contains high-grade copper and gold.

The project is being carefully watched by other mining companies keen to exploit opportunities beneath the waves.

The Deep Sea Mining (DSM) campaign, a coalition of groups opposing the PNG drilling, estimates that 1 million sq km of sea floor in the Asia-Pacific region is under exploration licence. Nautilus alone has around 524,000 sq km under licence, or pending licence, in PNG, Tonga, New Zealand and Fiji.

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1 comment to Papua New Guinea’s seabed to be mined for gold and copper

  • Truthseeker

    Why are people complaining about a little underwater mining project? Environmental dangers? What environmental dangers? These complainers are probably the same people that think deep sea drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is hazardous to the environment. Ridiculous…

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