PNG communities will have their day in court!

Freedom of information case for Nautilus Solwara 1 will proceed

Media Release | Thursday 17 September 2020
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PAPUA NEW GUINEA | Last week, the PNG National Court rejected the Mineral Resources Authority’s (MRA) attempt to dismiss the case to obtain key documents relating to the Nautilus Solwara1 deep seabed mining project and its approval.

Mr Peter Bosip of the Centre for Environmental Law and Community Rights (CELCOR), the lawyers representing the plaintiffs, said, “The information sought by our clients will allow Papua New Guineans to understand the environmental, social, cultural and economic impacts of the proposed Solwara 1 deep sea mine and also whether it was approved lawfully.”

“Our plaintiffs represent coastal communities. They repeatedly requested the information from the National Government over several years before resorting to legal proceedings. As Papua New Guinean citizens, our clients are entitled to these documents.”

Mr Bosip continued, “It’s disappointing that they have been forced to bring a legal action in the National Court to assert such a basic right, and that the MRA spent PNG taxpayer funds in seeking to have the case dismissed. This case is in the national interest of PNG. The decision is a significant step forward for freedom of information and access to justice in PNG which are fundamental to any democracy.”

In handing down her decision, Justice Polume-Kiele acknowledged that under Section 51 of the Constitution that all citizens have a right to access public information, subject to the need for secrecy as is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society. Justice Polume-Kiele further declared that communities may now proceed with the case they lodged in December 2017.

“Our lives, livelihoods and cultures are at risk from seabed mining. The Mineral Resources Authority spent a great deal of time and money trying to have our case dismissed. They should now stop wasting taxpayer’s money, comply with our Constitution, and provide us with full access to the documents we have sought.” said plaintiff Lutheran Pastor, Matei Ibak of Karkar Island in Madang Province.

“We should not have to go to the time and expense of bringing a legal case simply to obtain documents we have the Constitutional right to access. Communities across the Bismarck and Solomon Seas who oppose seabed mining will be very happy to know that the National Court has supported their request for information about this high risk seabed mining project.”

Jonathan Mesulam, Alliance of Solwara Warriors and another plaintiff stated, “Not only did the MRA spend 2 years trying to block our access to information, it is currently undertaking a process to renew the Nautilus Nuigini deep sea exploration licences.”

“This goes against the views expressed by the MRA’s own Managing Director, the Hon. Prime Minister James Marape, other senior ministers and the thousands of people from New Ireland, Manus, East New Britain, Madang, Morobe and Milne Bay Provinces who lodged objections to seabed exploration licences. Who is in charge of this Authority?”

PNG’s Prime Minister has supported Fiji’s call for a Pacific regional moratorium and declared the Solwara 1 project in PNG national waters a total failure. The Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Sasindran Muthuvel has recommended the Solwara 1 project be discontinued.”

Earlier this year, Mr Jerry Garry, Managing Director of PNG’s Mineral Resource Authority said that PNG had invested a lot of money in this risky project and would probably have to write off the US$120 million (K408.8mil) as State debt. Last month Mr. Garry, ruled out any chance of revisiting the failed Solwara 1 project.

“It’s time to listen to Papua New Guinean citizens and to economic common sense,” stated Mr. Mesulam

For more information:

Jonathan Mesulam, Alliance of Solwara Warriors Director, West Coast Development Foundation mesulamjonathan@gmail.com; +675 70038933

Mr Peter Bosip, Executive Director, CELCOR Inc. pbosip@gmail.com; +675 3234509

Alliance of Solwara Warriors

PNG’s approach to deep sea mining is ‘chaotic and uncoordinated’, all licences must be cancelled

MEDIA RELEASE | Thursday 10 September 2020

PAPUA NEW GUINEA | Local communities across the Bismarck and Solomon Seas are concerned that the PNG Government is sending mixed messages about deep sea mining in their waters, calling the process and approach so far as “chaotic and uncoordinated”.

“The Alliance of Solwara Warriors, representing thousands of people across the Bismarck and Solomon Seas, have organised in opposition to the industry to protect our cultures, lives and livelihoods for us and future generations”, stated Jonathan Mesulam, Alliance of Solwara Warriors.

The Alliance of Solwara Warriors, civil society and PNG Churches have been speaking out against Solwara 1 for many years. This included a joint letter in June 2019 calling for the Papua New Guinea Government to cancel all Nautilus Minerals deep sea mining licences and to ban seabed mining in Papua New Guinea.

“Our Prime Minister has supported Fiji’s call for a Pacific regional moratorium and declared the Solwara 1 project in PNG national waters a total failure,” continued Mr. Mesulam “and Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Sasindran Muthuvel has recommended the Solwara 1 project be discontinued.”

Earlier this year, Garry told The National that the PNG had invested a lot of money in this risky and untested project and would probably have to write off the US$120 million (K408.8mil) as State debt.

“Mr. Jerry Garry, Managing Director of PNG’s Mineral Resource Authority recently ruled out any chance of revisiting the failed Solwara 1 project. This has all been at the significant expense to the PNG taxpayer. The cost to PNG of this failed project is indisputable. The debt is around one-third of our annual health budget.”[i]

Throughout July 2020 the Alliance of Solwara Warriors collected thousands of objections from local communities, schools and churches to the renewal of EL2537 deep sea mining licence in Namatanai District, New Ireland Province. On Wednesday 22nd July objections from New Ireland, Manus, East New Britain, Madang, Morobe and Milne Bay Provinces were hand delivered and lodged with the Mineral Resource Authority (MRA). All community members present at warden hearing in Labur village, New Island Province objected to the renewal of EL 2537.

Mr Mesulam questioned, “We would like to know why the MRA conducted stakeholder consultation to renew the exploration licences of Nautilus Minerals Nuigini ltd. Why is the MRA facilitating their continued operation against its own Managing Director, the Hon. PNG James Marape and other senior ministry?”

“This cowboy company is owned by the same investors who ran Nautilus into bankruptcy and left PNG in debt – they have no concern for the wellbeing of our people or our oceans.”

In December 2017, coastal communities launched a landmark legal case against the PNG Government in a bid to obtain key documents relating to the licensing and the environmental, health and economic impacts of the Solwara 1 deep sea mining project.

“The MRA is seeking to have our case dismissed,” claimed Mr. Mesulam.

“We have been waiting for over 2 years to find out if our case can proceed. MRA appears to be blocking the right of Papua New Guineans to know how the Solwara 1 mine was approved and licenced – why are they trying to hide information from citizens of PNG?”

“PNG’s approach and process to deep sea mining has bee chaotic and uncoordinated. We call on PM Marape, senior Ministers and the MRA to walk their talk and cancel all licences for deep sea mining exploration and mining.”

“It’s time to listen to Papua New Guineans and to economic common sense.”

For more information
Jonathan Mesulam, Alliance of Solwara Warriors
Director, West Coast Development Foundation
mesulamjonathan[at]gmail.com; +675 70038933


[i] Deep Sea Mining Campaign, London Mining Network, Mining Watch Canada, Why the Rush? Seabed Mining in the Pacific Ocean, July 2019, pp 6. http://www.deepseaminingoutofourdepth.org/wp-content/uploads/Why-the-Rush.pdf

Table 29 of the PNG Treasury Final budget outcome released in March 2019 indicates expenditure by sector – the debt of $US125m alone, ignoring interest and other costs. equates to K422m at March 2019 exchange rates.

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MEDIA RELEASE

Wednesday 20 May 2020

NEW REPORT HIGHLIGHTS DEEP SEA NODULE MINING DANGER TO PACIFIC OCEAN AND ISLAND NATIONS

A new report analysing over 250 peer reviewed scientific articles finds that the impacts of mining deep sea polymetallic nodules would be extensive, severe, and last for generations, causing essentially irreversible species loss. The report, Predicting the impacts of mining deep sea polymetallic nodules in the Pacific Ocean, also notes that there is little to no social licence to mine deep sea nodules and refutes Canadian company DeepGreen Metals’ claims that there will be economic gains for Pacific island economies.

The report reveals a clear scientific consensus: the mining of deep sea nodules would cause irreversible damage to an ocean already under pressure; that a precautionary approach is warranted; and a moratorium is the only responsible way forward until several fundamental conditions can be met, including environmental, social and economic risks to be comprehensively understood and no loss of biodiversity. 

Dr. Andrew Chin, the report’s lead researcher, stated, “We’ve only scratched the surface of understanding the deep ocean. Science is just starting to appreciate that the deep sea is not an empty void but is brimming with wonderful and unique life forms. Deep sea ecosystems form an interconnected realm with mid and surface waters through the movement of species, energy flows, and currents.”

“Not only will the nodule mining result in the loss of these species and damage deep sea beds for thousands of years, it will potentially result in negative consequences for the rest of the ocean and the people who depend on its health.”

Covering 30 per cent of the earth’s surface, the Pacific Ocean’s mineral rich polymetallic nodules have drawn speculation by mining companies and their investors. Canada’s DeepGreen Metals has partnered with three Pacific Island governments to obtain exploration licences for the Clarion Clipperton Zone, stretching 4,500 km between Kiribati and Mexico. They are urging the ISA to rapidly finalise regulations for mining the deep seabed with little resistance from the ISA General Secretary.

Dr. Helen Rosenbaum of the Deep Sea Mining Campaign said, ” Under the cover of COVID-19 the regulations could be pushed through despite the absence of meaningful public debate.”

“DeepGreen promotes deep sea mining as creating great wealth with minimal or no adverse impacts. The science does not support their claims. In fact, the best available research clearly indicates that the mining of deep sea nodules will place Pacific island states at great risk.” 

“The stakes are extremely high with Pacific economies, cultures, livelihoods, fisheries, food security, tourism, and iconic marine species all under threat from deep sea nodule mining.”

Dr. Rosenbaum added, “DeepGreen’s partnership with Tonga, Kiribati, and Nauru is potentially a catalyst for conflict with the push from Fiji, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea for a moratorium, and Pacific civil society’s vocal opposition to an industry that would destroy their oceans and Pacific way of life.”

Dr. Catherine Coumans, of Mining Watch Canada, said, “Plans to mine the deep sea show every hallmark of the environmental disasters industrial mining has created on land, including long-lasting ecosystem destruction and a failure to deliver benefits to local communities and vulnerable developing countries.”

“The report’s case study of the failed Nautilus Minerals deep sea mining project attests to the harsh realities of thinly capitalised operators, and contracts that protect corporate interests over that of governments. This project left the government of Papua New Guinea with a debt of 125 million USD. ”

DeepGreen Metals promotes deep sea mining as preferable to terrestrial mining to address projected shortages of minerals for technology required to reduce global carbon emissions.

Professor Alex Rogers, a widely published deep sea ecologist and expert reviewer of the report, refutes DeepGreen’s claim, “I do not agree that mining the deep seabed is necessary to achieve this. Post COVID-19, we have a unique opportunity to develop a ‘green’ transition to a zero-carbon economy with far more sustainable ways to meet mineral requirements.”

“We can do this through better regulation of terrestrial mining, circular economies based on smart design, recycling, reduced demand, and development of new technologies such as batteries that do not rely on metals obtained with a high environmental cost.”

“Since the 1980s, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development have increasingly found their way into the management of ocean industries such as fisheries. Deep sea mining is a relic, left over from the extractive economic approaches of the ’60s and ’70s. It begs the question, whether deep sea mining has any place in this modern age of a sustainable blue economy.” concluded Professor Rogers

View and Download Executive Summary

View and Download Full Report

Interviews are available with the following specialists who contributed to the report – please contact here

  • Dr. Andrew Chin, Lead Author, Australia
  • Professor Alex Rogers, Deep Sea Ecologist and expert reviewer, United Kingdom
  • Dr. Catherine Coumans, MiningWatch Canada
  • Dr. Helen Rosenbaum, Deep Sea Mining Campaign, Australia
  • Mr. Duncan Currie, Lawyer, interests in UNCLOS and the ISA, expert reviewer, New Zealand


Download report here

Predicting the impacts of m… by Deep Sea Mining Campaign on Scribd

Nautilus Minerals officially sinks, shares still trading

Mining.com | Amanda Stutt | 26 November 2019

Nautilus Minerals, one of the world’s first seafloor miners, officially went bankrupt this week, its court-appointed monitor, Price Waterhouse Cooper reported.

Nautilus filed for protection from its debts in a Canadian Court in February 2019. The company tried to restructure but it failed to find any buyers for its assets. In August 2019, court approval was obtained for creditors to liquidate the company to get back a fraction of what they were owed.

IN THE PROCESS, NAUTILUS HAS LEFT THE PAPUA NEW GUINEA GOVERNMENT FACING A DEBT EQUIVALENT TO ONE-THIRD OF THE COUNTRY’S ANNUAL HEALTH BUDGET

The Vancouver-based company was trying to develop its Solwara 1 deep sea gold, copper and silver project, off the coast of Papua New Guinea (PNG), but the project was plagued with community opposition and financial setbacks.

In June, the owner of the shipyard where the company’s support vessel was being made said it had cancelled the contract with the supplier chosen  to build its ships after Nautilus failed to pay the third installment of the contract price — $18 million before interest.

Local communities opposed to Nautilus’ Solwara 1 project in their seas are still opposed to the project, and there are still legal cases in the PNG court system.

In the process, Nautilus has left the Papua New Guinea government, which still owns a 15% stake in the Solwara I project as well as equipment, facing K81.5 million ($24 million) in debt.

“The two main shareholders – MB Holding and Metalloinvest – have effectively taken control of this ‘new’ Nautilus at the expense of major creditors and hundreds of small shareholders,” Andy Whitmore, advocacy officer, Deep Sea Mining Campaign, said in a press release.

Court papers noted that Nautilus had two distinct business units, one dealing with polymetallic nodules, and one dealing with seafloor massive sulphides, which includes the Solwara 1 project in PNG. It is therefore unclear which, if either of the business units, the new company will concentrate on.

“Nautilus gave the impression that the new company was ready to roll. But it has been over a month since the confirmation and there’s been no other information on what Nautilus’ new plans will be,” Whitmore said.

Nautilus stated in court papers that once liquidation occurs, there may still be a buyer for at least some of the new company’s assets.

PNG Business News report suggests the new Nautilus has applied to the PNG Mineral Resources Authority to vary the existing mining lease.

When Nautilus was removed from the Toronto Stock Exchange as part of the bankruptcy proceedings, it moved to unregulated trading, with a recent spike in buying.

At market close Tuesday, Nautilus Minerals’ shares had been traded 310,769 times on the OTC, with the stock priced at a penny.

MEDIA RELEASE

Monday 25 November 2019

Nautilus Minerals: still lost at sea with no life raft in sight

On 21st November, Nautilus Mineral’s court-appointed monitors, Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) confirmed that the relevant legal papers had been filed to assign Nautilus Minerals Inc. into bankruptcy.[1] Whilst this news was expected, there has been no news on their plans for the Solwara 1 deep sea mining project in Papua New Guinea, leaving local communities and civil society who are opposed to the project with many questions.

Nautilus filed for protection from its debts in a Canadian Court in February 2019.[2] The company tried to restructure but it failed to find any buyers for its assets. In August 2019, court approval was obtained for creditors to liquidate the company in order to get back a fraction of what they were owed.[3]

Andy Whitmore of the Deep Sea Mining Campaign stated, “This should be the end of the story, but sadly the liquidation was enacted to give birth to a new, smaller Nautilus.”

“The two main shareholders – MB Holding and Metalloinvest – have effectively taken control of this ‘new’ Nautilus at the expense of major creditors and hundreds of small shareholders. Despite filing an appeal[4] in the Canadian Court, through its company Eda Kopa, the PNG Government remains the biggest loser from the deal holding 15% equity in Nautilus PNG and the Solwara 1 project, effectively losing $US125m.”[5]

“Nautilus gave the impression that the new company was ready to roll.[6] But it has been over a month since the confirmation and there’s been no other information on what Nautilus’ new plans will be.”

“Nautilus stated in court papers[7] that, once liquidation occurs, there may still be a buyer for at least some of the new company’s assets.[8] Does this mean the major shareholders will sell their licences and machinery to make a quick profit and run?” questioned Mr Whitmore.

Local communities opposed to Nautilus’ Solwara 1 project in their seas are still steadfastly opposed to the project, and there are still legal cases in the PNG court system.[9]

Jonathan Mesulam from the Alliance of Solwara Warriors has recently returned to PNG from meetings in Canada[10] where he represented the fierce opposition of PNG coastal communities against experimental seabed mining.

Mr Mesulam stated, “It’s unbelievable for Nautilus to still consider mining the Solwara 1 project. Even if free of its long-term debt, this new company is created on the back of the huge financial loss for our government and the people of PNG. Our people want nothing to do with this company and its lies of prosperity. In Canada I learned that such a project would never be allowed in this company’s home waters.”

This loss adds to PNGs public debt which is at about 33 per cent of GDP. Australia has recently committed a $AUD300 million loan as direct budget assistance to ‘aid its economic reforms and government financing.’[11]

Mr Mesulam continued, “A recent article in PNG Business News seems to suggest the ‘new’ Nautilus has applied to the PNG Mineral Resources Authority to vary the existing mining lease.[12] This is against a background of calls from right across Papua New Guinean society to cancel the licenses.”[13]

An added mystery is that someone is still buying shares in the old, defunct company. When Nautilus was removed from the Toronto Stock Exchange as part of the bankruptcy proceedings, it moved to unregulated trading of the now virtually worthless stock. Yet there has been a recent spike in buying that sent the price up to 0.003 cents per share.[14]

“So many questions, and yet to date no answers. The company still looks to be lost at sea with no life raft in sight” claimed Mr Whitmore.

For more information

Andy Whitmore, Deep Sea Mining Campaign (London)

whit@gn.apc.org, +44 775 439 5597

Jonathan Mesulam, Alliance of Solwara Warriors, (Papua New Guinea)
mesulamjonathan@gmail.com, +675 7003 8933

NOTES


[1] Updates, Nautilus Minerals, Canadian Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), PwC, https://www.pwc.com/ca/en/services/insolvency-assignments/nautilus-minerals-inc.html,

[2] Updates, Nautilus Minerals, Canadian Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), PwC, https://www.pwc.com/ca/en/services/insolvency-assignments/nautilus-minerals-inc.html

[3] ‘Nautilus obtains court approval of plan of compromise and arrangement’, Nautilus Minerals media release, 13 August 2019, http://www.nautilusminerals.com/irm/PDF/2096_0/

[4] Eda Kopa filed an appeal in the Canadian Court, claiming they should be treated the same as other creditors, rather than as a shareholder, so at least they could salvage something. Nautilus fought this, complaining – among other arguments – that they could not afford to pay Eda Kopa. On 26th September the Court dismissed Eda Kopa’s appeal, and on 22 October it was confirmed that no further appeal would be submitted.

[5] Deep Sea Mining Campaign, London Mining Network, Mining Watch Canada. 2019. Why the Rush? Seabed Mining in the Pacific Ocean. July. pp 26. http://www.deepseaminingoutofourdepth.org/wp-content/uploads/Why-the-Rush.pdf;  Table 29 of the PNG Treasury Final budget outcome released in March 2019 indicates expenditure by sector – the debt of $US125m alone, ignoring interest and other costs. equates to K422m at March 2019 exchange rates, http://bit.ly/FinalBudgetOutcome2018

[6] Monitors Sixth Report to Court, Nautilus Minerals, Canadian Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), PwC,  https://www.pwc.com/ca/en/car/nautilus-minerals/assets/nautilus-minerals-065_091919.pdf

[7] Monitors Sixth Report to Court, Nautilus Minerals, Canadian Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), PwC, (section 5) https://www.pwc.com/ca/en/car/nautilus-minerals/assets/nautilus-minerals-049_072419.pdf  

[8] The court papers also noted that Nautilus had two distinct business units, one dealing with polymetallic nodules, and one dealing with seafloor massive sulphides (which includes the Solwara 1 project in PNG). It is therefore unclear which, if either of the business units, the new company will concentrate on.

[9] ‘Legal action launched over the Nautilus Solwara 1 Experimental Seabed Mine’, statement 6 December 2017 – http://www.deepseaminingoutofourdepth.org/legal-action-launched-over-nautilus-solwara-1/; ‘World-first mining case launched in PNG’, Lawyers Weekly, 13 December 2017, https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/wig-chamber/22429-world-first-mining-case-launched-in-png

[10] Where Does Canada Stand on Deep Sea Mining?, MiningWatch Canada and Alliance of Solwara Warriors media release, 22 November 2019, https://miningwatch.ca/news/2019/11/22/where-does-canada-stand-deep-sea-mining;  Briefing: Jonathan Mesulam Meets with Senior Canadian Civil Servants on Deep Sea Mining, Ottawa, Canada, 18 November 2019,

[11] ‘Australia Gives $300 Million Loan to Papua New Guinea’, Reuters, 23 November 2019,https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pacific-loan-australia/australia-gives-300-million-loan-to-papua-new-guinea-idUSKBN1XX03W

[12] ‘Mine waits for restructure’, PNG Business News, 19 November 2019, https://www.pngbusinessnews.com/post/mine-waits-for-restructure

[13] ‘Joint Letter calling for the PNG Government to cancel all Nautilus Minerals deep sea mining licences’, full-page ad, Post Courier by PNG Council of Churches, Voice of Milne Bay, Alliance of Solwara Warriors, Bismarck Ramu Group and Centre for Environmental Law and Community Rights, 28 June 2019, http://www.deepseaminingoutofourdepth.org/joint-letter-calling-for-the-papua-new-guineagovernment-to-cancel-all-nautilus-minerals-deep-sea-mining-licences-and-to-ban-seabed-mining-in-png/ ; ‘Cancel all deep sea mining licences’, Loop PNG, April 24, 2019. http://www.looppng.com/business/cancel-all-deep-sea-mining-licences-locals-83822

[14] See: https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/NUSMF?p=NUSMF

Moratorium on DSM welcomed but more courage required of PM Marape:

PNG citizens call for a full ban on seabed mining

PAPUA NEW GUINEA | PNG Prime Minister, James Marape supported Fiji’s call at the Pacific Islands Forum for a 10-year moratorium on seabed mining. The PM’s support for a moratorium was welcomed by the PNG Council of Churches at its meeting last week.  However, the churches and civil society remind the Prime Minister that the environmental, social and economic risks of seabed mining necessitate a complete ban. #037c8c

An open letter to PM Marape published in June from the PNG Council of Churches, Voice of Milne Bay, Alliance of Solwara Warriors, Bismarck Ramu Group, and the Center for Environmental Law and Community Rights seeks commitments to cancel all licences issued to Nautilus, to not issue any more sea bed mining exploration or mining licences, and to invest in truly sustainable local enterprises that will benefit local economies.[1]   

Jonathon Mesulam of the Alliance of Solwara Warriors said, “We thank our Prime Minister for heeding the calls of our communities by backing a 10-year moratorium on seabed mining. But we need to go further to protect our seas, our livelihoods and traditions by imposing a ban.”

Peter Bosip, Director, Center for Environmental Law and Community Rights claimed, “PNG’s recent history is littered with many examples of land-based mines with disastrous impacts.[2] It is very difficult to monitor and regulate the impacts of land-based mining let alone mines deep under the sea. Globally, ocean ecosystems are already under stress due to pollution, plastics, overfishing, climate change and accelerating biodiversity loss.[3]

“PNG has no need for seabed mining” stated Christina Tony of the Bismarck Ramu Group.  “We are blessed with abundant fisheries, productive agricultural lands and marine life. Seabed mining will benefit only a small number of people who are already wealthy and not bring prosperity to our communities.”

Nautilus is now approaching liquidation,[4] and PM Marape has described Solwara 1 as “a total failure”[5] .  PNG’s investment in Nautilus has resulted in loss equivalent to one third of its last national health budget.[6] The PNG Government through Eda Kopa (Solwara) Limited is attempting to recoup some of its financial loss through the Canadian courts[7]. Smaller shareholders considering a class action are hoping to collaborate with Eda Kopa.[8]

A new international report describes how Nautilus’ early investors pushed the PNG Government into purchasing a 15% share in its Solwara 1 project.  These investors increased the company’s share price with false promises of vast wealth and then walked away as multi-millionaires, leaving the company to flounder.

Sir Arnold Amet stated, “The approval of Solwara 1 occurred under my watch as an MP and Governor for Madang’. I regret that the O’Neill government didn’t adequately scrutinize that project and took up 15% equity in Nautilus PNG. It’s time to rectify that situation.

“Lets recognise this failed investment in the upcoming budget and ensure we don’t enter into seabed mining joint ventures in the future or issue any more seabed exploration or mining licences.  We now know how deep sea mining companies attempt to manipulate governments according to their own narrow profit motives without any conscience.[9] We look to PM Marape to stand up for Papua New Guineans against the pressure exerted by these corporations.”

For more information

Sir Arnold Ametamet
ametarnold@gmail.com , + 675 72539353

Peter Bosip, Center for Environmental Law and Community Rights
pbosip@gmail.com, +675 3234237 

Jonathon Mesulam, Alliance of Solwara Warriors
mesulamjonathan@gmail.com, +675 70038933

Christina Tony, Bismarck Ramu Group
chrisamoka20@gmail.com, +675 70942439


[1] ‘Joint Letter calling for the Papua New Guinea Government to cancel all Nautilus Minerals deep sea mining licences and to ban seabed mining in PNG’, Post Courier, June 28, 2019. http://www.deepseaminingoutofourdepth.org/joint-letter-calling-for-the-papua-new-guinea-government-to-cancel-all-nautilus-minerals-deep-sea-mining-licences-and-to-ban-seabed-mining-in-png/

[2] Catastrophic environmental and human rights disasters at PNG mine have included BHP Ok Tedi mine in Western Province: ‘OK Tedi Mining blamed for Health epidemic in Western Province’, EMTV, November 18, 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I00sdNaMIG8; ‘Toxic time bomb’ awaits Ok Tedi, ABC Science, September 5, 2008, https://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2008/09/05/2356711.htm; and Rio Tinto’s Paguna mine in Bougainville that resulted in brutal Civil War from 1989-1997 which claimed the lives of up to 20,000 people, and tens of thousands more were displaced: ‘Rio Tinto walks away from environmental responsibility for Bougainville’s Panguna mine’, Mongabay, April 6, 2017. https://news.mongabay.com/2017/04/rio-tinto-walks-away-from-environmental-responsibility-for-bougainvilles-panguna-mine/

[3] IPBES Global Assessment Summary for Policymakers, https://www.ipbes.net/news/ipbes-global-assessmentsummary-policymakers-pdf

[4] ‘Nautilus Minerals’ plans to mine the seafloor sink deeper’, Mining.com, August 13, 2019. https://www.mining.com/nautilus-minerals-plans-to-mine-the-seafloor-sink-deeper/;

[5] ‘Marape leaning towards Moratorium on deep sea mining’, Post Courier, August 15, 2019. https://postcourier.com.pg/marape-leaning-towards-moratorium-deep-sea-mining/ 

[6] Deep Sea Mining Campaign, London Mining Network, Mining Watch Canada, Why the Rush? Seabed Mining in the Pacific Ocean, July 2019, pp 6. http://www.deepseaminingoutofourdepth.org/wp-content/uploads/Why-the-Rush.pdf

Table 29 of the PNG Treasury Final budget outcome released in March 2019 indicates expenditure by sector – the debt of $US125m alone, ignoring interest and other costs. equates to K422m at March 2019 exchange rates.
http://bit.ly/FinalBudgetOutcome2018

[7] Nautilus liquidation looming, Loop PNG, July 31, 2019. http://www.looppng.com/business/nautilus-liquidation-looming-86044

[8] See Shareholders Unite bulletin board – http://shareholdersunite.com/mybb/showthread.php?tid=12465

[9] Deep Sea Mining Campaign, London Mining Network, Mining Watch Canada. 2019. Why the Rush? Seabed Mining in the Pacific Ocean. July. pp 26. http://www.deepseaminingoutofourdepth.org/wp-content/uploads/Why-the-Rush.pdf