PNG could see US$80m benefits from seabed mining

6:11 pm on 3 March 2016

A new report says seabed mining could see Papua New Guinea reap economic benefits of US$80 million over two years.

Sampling copper under the sea

Sampling copper under the sea Photo: Nautilus Minerals

The cost benefit analysis report, commissioned by the Pacific Community (formerly the Secretariat of the Pacific Community) and the European Union, aimed to provide information to Pacific countries about the impacts of seabed mining.

The report looked into mining in three counties - seafloor massive sulphides in PNG, maganese nodules in the Cook Islands and cobalt-rich crusts in the Marshall Islands.

The SPC's deep sea minerals project manager, Akuila Tawake, said the benefits of seabed mining in PNG and the Cooks would outweigh the costs, but not in the Marshall Islands.

"Based on the report - the main net social benefit for mining in PNG for two years, around US$80 million, and for mining maganese nodules in the Cook Islands for 20 years will bring a mean social benefit of around US$500 million for the govenment," Mr Tawake said.

The report said if proper steps were taken to manage environmental risk, there would be a higher possibility of social benefits outweighing social costs in all three countries.