SPC Geoscience Division

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By PATRICK MATBOB; Source: http://www.islandsbusiness.com

Discussions between Nautilus Minerals and the state of PNG have failed to resolve a dispute that has halted the progress of experimental Solwara 1 seabed mining in PNG waters.

Nautilus has reported that a number of meetings have been held between senior representatives of the two parties and discussions would continue until a conclusion was reached.

Meanwhile, opposition to experimental seabed mining plans is growing in PNG and the Pacific region.

One of PNG’s vocal local environment group, Mas Kagin Tapani Association (known as Makata), has called on Nautilus to stop exploiting the pristine Bismarck and Solomon Seas with its experimental seabed mining. It has also called on the PNG state not to pay Nautilus the 30% equity which it was taking up in the project.

National coordinator for the local not-for-profit group Wenceslaus Magun said: “There is no justification for the PNG government to pay 30% to Nautilus.

“This foreign-owned corporation does not own the resources by birth right. They cannot ask the PNG government to make such a contribution to help develop their experimental seabed mining project.