12 Jun 2013

Community groups push for seabed mining moratorium in PNG

3:32 pm on 12 June 2013

Community groups in Papua New Guinea are urging their government to follow in Vanuatu's footsteps and impose a moratorium on all experimental seabed mining.

The Vanuatu Government announced the decision on Monday, revealing it will apply the precautionary principle and not allow any seabed mining until the full environmental impacts are understood.

John Chitoa from the Bismarck Ramu Group says a moratorium would help Papua New Guinea avoid unknown dangers.

"At the moment there is strong opposition from the local people, basically because they don't want to be used as guinea pigs for these projects."

John Chitoa says local people need to be fully consulted and there needs to be a study on the impacts of seabed mining before any further exploration is considered.

A Canadian mining company Nautilus Minerals was granted a 20-year licence by the PNG government last year to mine for copper and gold in the Bismarck Sea as part of its Solwara 1 project.