FIRST UNDERSEA MINING SAMPLES TAKEN OFF PNG

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Nautilus says new global industry at hand

By Anton Huafolo

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, April 3, 2008) - A sample of mineral ore extracted from the seabed of the Bismarck Sea could be the start of what might become a new global industry - offshore mining of copper, gold and zinc.

[PIR editor’s note: The Bismark Sea lies off the northern coast of mainland Papua New Guinea.]

This was declared yesterday by Nautilus chief executive David Heydon.

Historically, Papua New Guinea will be the first country to have the first sub-sea gold and copper mine in the world, and this could set the pace for further undersea exploration for mineral deposits all over the world, he said.

"There is the potential to change the world’s access to resources just as offshore oil and gas evolved to be major sources of hydrocarbons."

"Mining copper, zinc and gold from the seafloor at water depths of around 1,500 meters, well below the depths of commercial and traditional fishing, has the potential to contribute to Papua New Guinea’s economy without impacting on landowner’s farm land or rivers," he said.

"Nautilus proposes to use state-of-the-art robotic machines similar to those used to dig pipelines on the seafloor for offshore oil and gas, to surgically remove the material from the seafloor and pump it to the surface," he added.

On hand to receive the one-ton ore on behalf of the Mineral Resources Authority was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Mining Dr. Puka Temu.

Temu acknowledged Nautilus for its commitment and investment in the country, and pledged the Government’s support to the company in creating good policies and regulations in the industry.

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