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Pacific countries discuss financial management options for deep sea minerals development

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26 August 2015, Nadi

Deep sea mining is an emerging industry in the Pacific region and has the potential to become a major new revenue stream for Pacific Island countries.

Effective management of this revenue will be critical to ensure that long term benefits are realised.

Through the European Union Deep Sea Minerals Project, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is partnering with the International Monetary Fund and the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre to hold a workshop in Nadi this week (24-27 August) that focuses on the management of revenue emanating from deep sea minerals development.

Representatives from 14 Pacific Island countries, civil society groups, the private sector, finance officials and experts have been invited to participate.

The workshop aims to develop and discuss appropriate fiscal regimes, revenue management and public financial management options that can be considered and implemented for deep sea minerals mining.

“This is part of EU ongoing efforts to assist Pacific countries to prepare to effectively manage deep sea mineral resources that occur within their waters and their interests in the international seabed area,” SPC Deep Sea Minerals Project Manager, Akuila Tawake, said.

“Participants will learn how to develop appropriate revenue management schemes to ensure that countries receive their fair share of the proceeds from such mining,” Mr Tawake added.

Pacific countries are rightly concerned that Deep Sea Mining projects must be socially acceptable, ensure that the environment is protected and guarantee that they contribute to the genuine development and prosperity of the countries and their people said Johnny Engell-Hansen, Deputy Head of Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific.

On the basis of case study exercises, the participants are also expected to discuss, consider and endorse the Pacific Islands Regional Deep Sea Minerals Financial Framework, developed by SPC and the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre.

Pacific ACP (Africa Caribbean Pacific) States represented include Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

This is the seventh regional training workshop in the Deep Sea Minerals project series. The mining of deep sea minerals is yet to commence in the Pacific region.

For more on the European Union Deep Sea Minerals Project implemented in partnership with SPC, -visit http://gsd.spc.int/dsm

Media contact: Akuila Tawake, SPC-EU Deep Sea Minerals Project Manager, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), +679 3249272Appeler : +679 3249272 or +679 3381377Appeler : +679 3381377 ext: 36272

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 September 2015 20:07  

Newsflash

Pacific countries are being urged to protect their deep sea mineral resources as commercial interest rapidly grows in the region.

One company is planning to undertake the world's first deep sea mining project in Papua New Guinea and there's growing interest elsewhere.

Jonathan Lowe from Nautilus Minerals told ONE News their initial focus is on copper, gold, zinc and silver.

However extracting it from 1-2 kilometres below sea level, has always been the issue - until now.

Commercial groups are currently starting to sign up exploration licences around the region and Pacific governments are being urged to protect themselves and negotiate the best deal with interested companies

"They are making heavy investments. They are going to push very hard to get as much of the proceeds as possible," said Dr Jimmie Rodgers, Director of General South Pacific Community.

"Governments need to be very clear on what it is they want to get out of this. They have to have definite milestones that are not negotiable."