Papua New Guinea Mine Watch
28 September 2012
Controversial experimental seabed mining company, Nautilus Minerals have used David Gwyther and his team at Coffey Natural Systems to prepare its Environmental Impact Statement for the Solwara 1 mine. This is the same team (formerly NSR Consultants, and Enesar Consultants) whose work was discredited in the Ramu mine litigation and which endorsed the environmental systems that led to the disasters at Ok Tedi and Misima and the environmental pollution as Lihir.
In the Ramu mine litigation Justice Cannings in the National Court found the Coffey scientists to be only generalists and not experts and their evidence was rejected in favour of expert scientific witnesses who spoke against the proposed marine waste dumping.
In one astonishing revelation, the Coffey scientist who “designed” the toxicity tests and monitoring from the Ramu mine admitted under cross examination he had in fact never done a toxicity test and had sourced the method for the toxicity testing by cutting and pasting off the internet. Justice Cannings rejected Coffey’s claims that the tailings would not be toxic and ruled the tests were inadequate.
Can we trust Coffey Natural Systems and Nautilus when then say the Solwara 1 ‘s mine impacts will be minimal?