MAC: Mines and Communities

Seabed mining a risky business, says expert

Published by MAC on 2011-04-12
Source: Papua New Guinea Minewatch

Seabed mining a risky business says expert

By Peter Korugl

Papua New Guinea Minewatch

5 April 2011

The Government is taking a big risk with its decision to take up its 30 per cent stake in the Solwara 1 project in the Manus Basin. This is the warning from one of Papua New Guinea's leading expert on the Manus Basin, the site of the project operated by Nautilus Minerals Niugini Limited.

"Is the government well informed about the Solwara 1 project in Manus Basin before it decided to take up 30% equity in the project?" Dr Kaul Gena, lecturer at the Western Australian School on Mines, Curtins University asks.

Dr Gena, the only person in PNG who has explored the sea bed of the Manus Basin, said a lot of issues have been raised by different authors over the years but none of these issues has been addressed by Nautilus Mineral Niugini Limited.

Dr Gena said he would like to pose these issues again for the Government to consider.

These are some very important questions that needs to be addressed by the Nautilus Minerals Niugini Ltd and its joint venture partners.

I think the time for yes sir should be over in all sectors of business investment in PNG. I won't be surprised if this project is not brought into production within the next few years

Dr Gena says the government is making an ill informed decision to squander tax payers' money on a project that is not economically viable.

Do we have geologists and mining engineers in MRA or Department of Mining who should be providing sound advice to the government? For goodness sake let's not be ignorant.

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