Pacific Leaders Allegedly Ignoring Opposition To Deep Sea Mining

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Communities reportedly want more research, consultation

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 11, 2012) – The Deep Sea Mining campaign says Pacific communities are against seabed mining but their governments are not listening.

The campaign says thorough research hasn’t been conducted on the impact of the deep sea mine proposed by Canadian-owned Nautilus Minerals in PNG.

The Solwara 1 mine planned for the Bismarck Sea is the world’s first commercial deep sea mining project.

The author of the report ’Out of Our Depth: Mining the Ocean Floor in Papua New Guinea’, Dr. Helen Rosenbaum, says the precautionary principle should be applied.

"Civil society through the Pacific is increasingly asking for there to be a stay on this form of development until more research is done and communities can be informed and express an opinion. At this point, communities have not given their sanction to this. The governments of the Pacific and the companies who have exploration licenses have no social license at this point to proceed."

[PIR editor’s note: Rosenbaum has been particularly critical of Solwara 1, claiming when researchers have wanted to look at information gathered by Nautilus Minerals, the company has not shared its data, which has lead Rosenbaum to believe the research may not have been conducted.]

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