Starza Paul | The National
November 12, 2012
Deep sea mining should be given more consideration before mining starts, the National Research Institute’s Dr Nalau Bingeding says.
Bingeding made the comment last Friday in Port Moresby amid speculation by landowner groups, public, politicians and other concerned institutions that deep-sea mining was still not safe for marine life.
“Amid the on-going debate on the pros and cons of deep-sea mining, there are still questions to be asked.
“The concerned groups and public should ask if the government of Papua New Guinea is going ahead to allow Nautilus to carry out the world’s first deep-sea mining in the Bismarck Sea,” he said.
He said Nautilus Minerals Ltd was adamant that it had spent millions of dollars exploring the floor of the Bismarck Sea and would mine the seabed regardless of concerns raised on the environmental consequences of such mining.
“Nautilus is determined to see PNG become the first country in the world to use state-of-the-art technology to do deep-sea mining because it has been given the green light to do so by the PNG government.
“The government should consider the 2009 Coral Triangle Initiative that the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) agreed to on behalf of the government,” he said.
“This is a 10-year regional action plan to protect coral reefs and other marine ecosystems and in line with the fourth goal and directive principle of PNG’s Constitution on natural resources and environment.”
Bingeding said global warming should be given consideration as deep sea mining would contribute towards it.
“Warming of the world’s ocean surfaces has resulted in bleaching of coral reefs in some parts of the world.”
“In the Pacific, the warming of the oceans has not had any profound effect but it is predicted that these impacts will be more pronounced in the near future,” he said.