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MEDIA RELEASE

Tuesday 2nd May 2017

Apple’s Commitment to a No-Mining Future Makes Deep Sea Mining Unnecessary

Scientists and civil society organisations from around the world welcome Apple’s 2017 Environment Responsibility Report announcing the communication technology giant’s goal to “stop mining the earth altogether”[1].  They call on other companies to match this commitment.

Apple’s goal is at odds with the excitement generated in some circles over proposals to mine the deep sea, and in particular by the world’s first deep sea mine (DSM) to be granted an operating licence in Papua New Guinea[2]. 

The announcement by Apple recognises the strong groundswell building for a circular economy that has eco-design, re-use, repairing, and recycling at its core. This will require other companies to also develop innovative business models and in particular mining companies to move beyond the current crude approach to sourcing minerals.

Professor Richard Steiner of Oasis Earth stated: ” One of the default arguments of DSM proponents is that the world economy will need the Rare Earth Elements and other minerals from the deep ocean for a growing demand for communications technologies.  Apple’s announcement shows this is will not be the case. The days of digging holes for raw materials, using them once or twice, discarding them into landfills, and then digging more holes for more raw materials to waste – are clearly numbered!”

Christina Tony, from the Bismarck Ramu Group in Papua New Guinea said, “Our coastal communities in the Bismarck Sea are subject to the world’s first deep sea mining experiment – driven by Nautilus Inc. and investors such as Anglo American.  Why are these companies happy to sacrifice our people’s heath, livelihoods, culture, and marine environment.  This primitive and violent approach to mining belongs with the dinosaurs.   Apple is showing us a sophisticated vision of a sustainable future.”

Dr. Helen Rosenbaum, Deep Sea Mining campaign stated, “Deep Sea Mining is risky business as both the environmental impacts and the returns are complete unknowns. Nautilus’ Annual Information Form, lodged with Canadian securities, emphasizes the experimental nature of the Solwara 1 project. In addition, report after report[3] demonstrates the world’s oceans are already on the brink of peril. With our Pacific partners we call for a complete ban on Deep Sea Mining and for  mining companies and electronics manufacturers to instead turn their mind to developing closed loop economies.”

Dr. Catherine Coumans of MiningWatch Canada says “Some mining for virgin minerals on  land may still be required in the short term to meet demand not satisfied by recycling, urban mining and reducing consumption[4]. But these alternatives provide win-win solutions for society, the environment and the economy.  The right choice is really a “no-brainer” and we welcome Apple’s foresight in leading the way. There is absolutely no need for deep sea mining [5].”

For more info:

Alaska:
Professor Richard  richard.g.steiner@gmail.com +1 907 360 4503 

Papua New Guinea:
Christina Tony, chrisamoka20@gmail.com +675 70942439, Bismarck Ramu Group

Australia:
Helen Rosenbaum , hrose@vic.chariot.net.au +61 413201793  Deep Sea Mining Campaign

Canada:
Dr. Catherine Coumans (Canada), catherine@miningwatch.ca +1 613-569-3439

_______

NOTES

[1] No Mining Required; No more mining says Apple; and Apple will stop relying on mining for minerals ‘one day’.

[2]  See reports: Out of our Depth: Mining the Ocean Floor in Papua New Guinea (November 2011) http://www.deepseaminingoutofourdepth.org/wp-content/uploads/Out-Of-Our-Depth-low-res.pdf  ;  Physical Oceanographic Assessment of the Nautilus Environmental Impact Statement for the Solwara 1 Project – An Independent Review (November 2012) http://www.deepseaminingoutofourdepth.org/wp-content/uploads/EIS-Review-FINAL-low-res.pdf ; Accountability Zero: A Critique of Nautilus Minerals Environmental and Social Benchmarking Analysis of the Solwara 1 project (September 2015) http://www.deepseaminingoutofourdepth.org/wp-content/uploads/accountabilityZERO_web.pdf

[3] Reports include: World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Reviving the Ocean Economy (2015) ; The Living Planet (2016);  International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) State of the Ocean (2013) ; Explaining Ocean Warming (2016); and the United Nation’s World Ocean Assessment 2016 which is a global inventory of the state of the marine environment and problems threatening to degrade the oceans. Recent research from the MIDAS consortium indicates a concrete risk that deep sea mining would lead to serious irreversible harm.

[4] For example, California based Blue Oak Resources estimates that every year mining companies spend roughly $12 billion for virgin ore deposits. While tons of cell phones and other electronics are thrown out every year, each ton contains 70 times the amount of gold and silver found in virgin ore. For copper the number is even higher, with the equivalent of roughly one-third of global mining production thrown out in e-waste globally every year; ‘Urban mining’: UBC engineers say e-waste richer than ore pulled from the ground;  Can ‘urban mining’ solve the world’s e-waste problem?

[5] For example, http://www.savethehighseas.org/publicdocs/DSM-RE-Resource-Report_UTS_July2016.pdf

MEDIA RELEASE

 24 April 2017

Anglo American should divest from high risk deep sea mining

Multinational mining company Anglo American will be held accountable today at its annual shareholder meeting. The company’s investment in the experimental Nautilus Minerals Solwara 1 deep sea mining project, is deeply opposed by local communities, churches and wider civil society in Papua New Guinea. These stakeholders ask Anglo American to divest from Nautilus Inc.

Anglo American is proud of its international commitments to sustainability, human rights, and environmental stewardship, but will they inform shareholders that their investment in Nautilus does not respect people’s culture and heritage?

“Anglo American, we are not guinea pigs for your experimental project!” stated Jonathan Mesulam from the Alliance of Solwara Warriors. “We in the Pacific are custodians of the world’s largest ocean. These oceans are important to us as sources of food and livelihoods. They are vital for our culture and our very identity. Solwara 1 is in the middle of our traditional fishing grounds. You are threatening our home and our existence with experimental seabed mining.”

Christina Tony, from the Bismarck Ramu Group in PNG, said, “Anglo American, Solwara 1 does not respect local communities’ livelihoods, health, food security and culture all of which are strongly linked to the sea. Our people have not provided their informed consent for this project. The Solwara 1 Environmental Impact Statement contains many gaps and errors – we can’t even obtain all the environmental research reports. By investing in this industry, Anglo American is complicit in trampling on our human rights.”

Dr. Helen Rosenbaum, Deep Sea Mining campaign stated, “Deep Sea Mining is risky business as both the environmental impacts and the returns are complete unknowns. Nautilus’ Annual Information Form, lodged with Canadian securities, emphasises the experimental nature of the Solwara 1 project. In addition, report after report[1] demonstrates the world’s oceans are already on the brink of peril. Recent research from the MIDAS consortium indicates a concrete risk that deep sea mining would lead to serious irreversible harm. With our Pacific partners. we call for a complete ban on Deep Sea Mining and for Anglo American to dissociate itself and its shareholders from this unjust experiment.”

Andy Whitmore, London Mining Network says “We welcome Anglo American’s desire to look for more sustainable forms of mining to meet society’s needs[2][3]. However, deep sea mining is not the answer. Instead, the solution should prioritise environmental protection and resource conservation while maintaining economic benefits. We ask Anglo American to divest from sea bed mining and instead get behind alternatives to traditional mining developments and truly cutting edge approaches hold the promise of win-win solutions for society and the environment. 

For more info:

Papua New Guinea:
Jonathan Mesulam, mesulamjonathan[at]gmail.com +675 70038933, Alliance of Solwara Warriors
Christina Tony, chrisamoka20[at]gmail.com +675 70942439, Bismarck Ramu Group

Australia:
Helen Rosenbaum, hrose[at]vic.chariot.net.au +61 413201793, Deep Sea Mining Campaign

London:
Andy Whitmore, whit[at]londonminingnetwork.org +44 (0) 7754395597, London Mining Network


NOTES

[1] Reports include: World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Reviving the Ocean Economy (2015) ; The Living Planet (2016);  International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) State of the Ocean (2013) ; Explaining Ocean Warming (2016); and the United Nation’s World Ocean Assessment 2016 which is a global inventory of the state of the marine environment and problems threatening to degrade the oceans.

[2] For example, California based Blue Oak Resources estimates that every year mining companies spend roughly $12 billion for virgin ore deposits. While tons of cell phones and other electronics are thrown out every year, each ton contains 70 times the amount of gold and silver found in virgin ore. For copper the number is even higher, with the equivalent of roughly one-third of global mining production thrown out in e-waste globally every year; ‘Urban mining’: UBC engineers say e-waste richer than ore pulled from the ground;  Can ‘urban mining’ solve the world’s e-waste problem?

[3] In Apple’s 2017 Environment Responsibility Report released last Wednesday 19th April, the company has announced a new, unprecedented goal for the tech industry to “stop mining the earth altogether”. Read more: No Mining Required; No more mining says Apple; and Apple will stop relying on mining for minerals ‘one day’.

 

 

 


MEDIA RELEASE

The Sinking Titanic: The German Government facilitating Deep Sea Mining

 

NGOs and civil society from Papua New Guinea, Australia, Germany and around the world are calling for a ban on seabed mining. They challenge the development of regulations[1] by the International Sea Bed Authority (ISA) and the German Government’s push to strengthen these regulations this week at a meeting in Berlin[2].

“Enough is enough!” stated Pastor Matei from the Alliance of Solwara Warriors, Papua New Guinea (PNG). The Solwara 1 Project is risky business as it is an experiment and people do not want to be used as guinea pigs. The Bismarck Sea is not a science laboratory for Nautilus Minerals Inc.

“People from the Pacific are custodians of the world’s largest oceans and it is these oceans that connect everyone in the Pacific. The oceans are as important as land. They are sources of food and livelihoods and they are of strong cultural and spiritual importance. Experimental seabed mining threatens this.”

“The demand for a ban on deep sea mining reflects the views of communities in PNG and across the Pacific. Our opposition is strong and growing[3].”

Natalie Lowrey, Deep Sea Mining campaign stated, “The demand by Pacific communities for a ban on this frontier industry is joined by the Deep Sea Mining campaign and leading NGOs in Germany. The development of regulations for deep sea mining is akin to loading more passengers onto a sinking Titanic. Report after report[4] demonstrate that the world’s oceans are already on the brink of peril.”

“Recent research from the MIDAS consortium indicates a concrete risk that deep sea mining would lead to serious irreversible harm. The ISA and the German Government are paving the way for yet another assault upon our oceans – an unprecedented and unnecessary assault.”

“The demand for a ban highlights the need to debate whether we should open up our oceans seabed to mining when alternatives are available. Germany and the EU should promote sustainable sources of minerals. such as urban mining.

Christina Tony, from the Bismarck Ramu Group in PNG said, “In Papua New Guinea and across the Pacific we do not see experimental seabed mining as meeting any of our communities’ needs, nor does it provide a benefit for humankind as a whole. In PNG, and across the world, we already have plenty of land-based mines and they have plenty of problems.”

“Imposing this industry on us is another form of colonisation. By promoting experimental seabed mining, Germany and the EU are complicit in continuing the ‘empire’ tradition in which it believes it should be free to rape and pillage the Pacific for its own profit.”

 

For more info:

Papua New Guinea:
Pastor Matei Ibak, Alliance of Solwara Warriors (via Christina Tony)
Christina Tony, chrisamoka20@gmail.com +675 70942439, Bismarck Ramu Group

Australia:
Natalie Lowrey, natalie.lowrey@gmail.com +61 421226200, Deep Sea Mining Campaign

 


NOTES

[1] See submissions by the Deep Sea Mining Campaign: http://www.deepseaminingoutofourdepth.org/wp-content/uploads/Deep-Sea-Mining-Campaign-submission-to-the-ISA-Nov-2016.pdf  and Seas At Risk: https://www.isa.org.jm/files/documents/EN/Regs/DraftExpl/Comments/SAR.pdf

[2] Organised by the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources the ‘Towards an ISA Environmental Management Strategy’ workshop is being held in Berlin this week 19-14 March. The meeting aims to progress an ISA Environmental Management Strategy for deep sea mining.

[3] Lutherans Walk 9 days Across Highlands Region Campaigning Against Deep Sea Mining in Papua New Guinea, EMTV; VIDEO: Lutherans Campaign Against Deep Sea Mining in PNG, EMTV online and Caritas PNG Forum call for ban on Sea bed mining

[4] Reports include: World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Reviving the Ocean Economy (2015) and The Living Planet (2016);  International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) State of the Ocean (2013) and Explaining Ocean Warming (2016); and the United Nation’s World Ocean Assessment 2016 which is a global inventory of the state of the marine environment and problems threatening to degrade the oceans.

 

 

LOOP PNG

BY: Annette Kora
17:26, March 8, 2017

 

The Caritas Coordinators of 19 Catholic Dioceses of the Catholic Church of PNG held its Annual Caritas PNG Forum 2017 in Madang in February.

The group are part of the Catholic network for social and ecological justice, and integral human development in the rural communities

The potential impacts of the proposed first ever “Experimental Seabed Mining” in PNG waters was among the agendas.

It was brought to light that the negative impacts greatly outweigh the anticipated benefits.

“In solidarity with Alliance of Solwara Warriors, Bismarck Ramu Group, and other concerned organisations, we are compelled to speak out on behalf of the affected silent majority in the rural coastal and island communities.”

They said the PNG Government has not been adequately advised resulting in granting mining licenses for the unprecedented project adding that they are aware that PNG national Government has already commissioned independent reviews of the IES yet copies of the report are hard to obtain.

“There has also been a lot of consultation – ie: the Government and Nautilus Minerals Ltd going out to communities to tell them how the project will proceed but, fell short of obtaining the communities’ consent.”

“We foresee that the coastal and island people whose daily lives are wholesomely dependent on the marine resources will be seriously deprived if the project goes ahead. In the economic and social realm, the dignity and complete vocation of the human person and the welfare of society as a whole are to be respected and promoted.”

The undersigned plead the Government to BAN experimental seabed mining because:

  • Nautilus Minerals Ltd has not demonstrated that seafloor resource development is commercially viable and environmentally sustainable.
  • The already commissioned Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report is not available to the stakeholders concerned.
  • Nautilus Minerals Ltd has not provided evidences of successful projects.
  • The local communities have not consented to the project going ahead.
  • The many unknowns make it a high risk project.

BAN SEABED MINING!

Seas At Risk
15 December 2016

The German Federation for Environment and Nature Conservation (BUND), member of Seas At Risk, called for a ban on deep sea mining together with several other German NGOs (PowerShift, Fair Oceans, Brot für die Welt, MISEREOR, Stiftung Asienhaus, Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung).

The ban was called for in the context of the International Conference on deep sea mining hosted by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy on December 13th , and in which BUND and Seas At Risk participated. Germany has already received exploration licenses for 85,000 km² of seabed in the Central Pacific and the Indian Ocean and during the conference the Ministry clearly expressed the intention to have a leadership role in the development of deep-sea mining.

The German NGOs fear that in the current race for marine resources, harms to the vulnerable deep sea habitats and ecosystems may be neglected. The knowledge of the deep sea ecology is far too scarce to estimate the risks of deep sea mining. The exploitation of unique habitats will lead to serious and irreparable loss. In addition to a ban of all mineral exploitation projects in the deep sea, the NGOs also called for alternative strategies to reduce raw material consumption, by enhancing recycling rates and developing smart and sustainable product design.

They also emphasised the importance to respect the human rights of the Pacific civil societies that are currently opposing seabed mining projects. Local communities see the Pacific as their ‘fluid continent’ and they oppose to their land and sea becoming an experimental field again as in the times of nuclear testing.

 

 

 MEDIA RELEASE

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Seabed mining in PNG: environmental experiment,

false hope of economic returns

Nautilus Minerals pedalled false hope for experimental seabed mining at the PNG Petroleum and Mining Conference in Sydney. NGOs and civil society in PNG raise serious doubt about the commercial and environmental viability of the Solwara 1 seabed mining project.

Natalie Lowrey, Deep Sea Mining campaign said, “Despite securing bridge financing with its two biggest shareholders to continue the Solwara 1 project, Nautilus faces significant technological and financial uncertainties. They are yet to demonstrate that seafloor resource development is commercially viable and environmentally sustainable.”

“The Nautilus Annual Information Form for the Fiscal Year ending 2015 highlights the potential for equipment damage, mechanical failure and operational failure and it warns that the projected yields and costs for Solwara 1 should be viewed with a low level of confidence.”

According to the Form’s section on risk factors, Nautilus has not completed and does not intend to complete a preliminary economic assessment, pre-feasibility study or feasibility study before embarking on mining at the Solwara 1 Site. The Form also acknowledges that the impact of any seabed mining operation on the environment will only be determined by monitoring after Solwara 1 has been developed.

“This does nothing to reassure local communities. The proposed Solwara 1 site is right in the middle of our fishing grounds and ocean currents operating at the Solwara 1 site would bring pollutants to our shores,” stated Jonathan Mesulum, from the PNG Alliance of Solwara Warriors.

Christina Tony, from the Bismarck Ramu Group in PNG said, “These admissions formally confirm what community members and activists have asserted for some time, that Nautilus and the PNG Government are using the Bismarck Sea as their testing ground and that Solwara 1 is indeed Experimental Sea Bed Mining”

“The business case for Solwara 1 is extremely weak and is a huge risk for the PNG government. It will not generate revenue, employment or business opportunities for the local communities whose lives and livelihoods depend on the ocean. Our former prime minister and Governor of New Ireland province, Sir Julius Chan, cast his doubts about experimental seabed mining as a serious environmental risk for our seas which are the gardens for our people.”

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), who control the world’s largest sustainable tuna purse seine fishery, have warned this week that without caution and adherence to the precautionary principle sea bed mining will go down the same track as the tuna fishery- foreign companies over exploiting Pacific Island resources with no tangible benefits delivered to local populations. The National Fisheries Authority in PNG has also expressed its concerns over seabed mining in the country.

FOR MORE INFO:

Papua New Guinea: Christina Tony, chrisamoka20[at]gmail.com +675 70942439

Papua New Guinea: Jonathan Mesulam, mesulamjonathan[at]gmail.com +675 70038933

Australia: Natalie Lowrey, natalie.lowrey[at]gmail.com +61 421 226 200