Growing calls from Pacific communities to stop seabed mining and the breakdown of a financing agreement is putting to question the viability of the Nautilus seabed mining experiment.
The Canadian company Nautilus faced its AGM in Toronto, Canada this week.
What’s bad news is that Nautilus stocks have already dropped dramatically over the past couple of weeks.
Canadian company Nautilus Inc. is leading the rush to mine the sea floor in the Pacific. If it goes ahead, its Solwara 1 project in PNG’s Bismark Sea will be the world’s first commercial deep sea mine.
But there is increasing opposition to the project such as: a growing call from Pacific communities to stop seabed mining, the PNG Government’s refusal to contribute to development costs and the breakdown of a financing agreement with a European ship builder.
What’s more, Canadians are standing in solidarity with civil society in the Pacific against deep sea mining. Dr. Catherine Coumans from Mining Watch Canada said, Canadian mining companies operate around the world and dominate the sector in number, but Canada does not regulate their activities to prevent them profiting from weak protection for the environment, workers, and human rights in some host countries.
She said Nautilus is proposing to mine environmentally, socially and culturally significant seabeds in the Pacific, an activity that would not be allowed in Canadian waters.
Dr. Helen Rosenbaum, campaign coordinator for the Deep Sea Mining campaign in Australia and author of Out of Our Depth: Mining the Ocean Floor in Papua New Guinea said the Nautilus EIS is deeply flawed. Even the company admits to moderate environmental risk. Independent analysis of the EIS indicates far higher risks.”
Groups across the Pacific have a petition calling for Pacific governments to stop experimental seabed mining. Pacific women are currently promoting the ‘stop experimental seabed mining’ message at the international Rio+20 conference in Brazil.