25 September 2013
JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Nongovernmental organisation (NGO), the Deep Sea Mining campaign, has welcomed Tuesday’s decision by the Namibian government to place an 18-month moratorium on marine phosphate seabed mining off the Southern African State’s coastline.
The group said in a statement on Wednesday that the government’s demand for a strategic environmental assessment and scoping study on seabed mining positioned the country as a world leader in recognising that a precautionary approach must be used when considering any seabed mining developments.
“The seabed mining industry must, with certainty, prove the impacts on the environment and must provide solid proof that seabed mining activities will not negatively impact the environment,” the NGO said.
The organisation further urged the Namibian government to impose a complete ban on seabed mining if it could not be conclusively proved that such activities would not negatively impact Namibian coastal waters and local communities.
The moratorium would result in the stalling of an exploration operation by Namibian Marine Phosphate, which is developing the world’s first marine phosphate project off the country’s west coast.
The Namibian moratorium follows a similar ban on future seabed mining by Australia’s Northern Territory state government.