7 Feb 2008

Canadian mining company says its operations will benefit Tonga

11:27 am on 7 February 2008

The Canadian mining company, Nautilus Minerals, says its new mining operation in Tonga will bring many benefits to the Kingdom.

Nautilus Minerals has won the right to search the deep sea off Tonga for sulphite and other minerals and it will start its exploration in summer.

Its business development vice-president, Scott Trebilcock, says the operation will help the Tonga's economy.

"They would have a company that would be mining the materials potentially, countries usually collect their royalty on the metal, the country would also get jobs as part of the permitting process, there's usually a minimum amount of Tongan people that would be trained and would become part of the project. the country would benefit from the development of infrastructure."

Scott Trebilcock says the environmental and cultural impact from deep sea mining is a lot smaller than from land mining operations.

Meanwhile, the company has just completed surveying the waters off Papua New Guinea and hopes to start its mining operation there soon.