Non-governmental groups in Papua New Guinea have condemned the PNG government's decision to renew a commitment to the Nautilus company's ocean floor mine.
The Canadian company is set to become the world's first undersea miner through its Solwara One project in the Bismarck Sea.
A two-year delay in the project has now been resolved, with the PNG government taking a 15 percent stake in the development.
The spokesperson for the NGO Act Now, Effrey Dademo, says they are stunned because the government had said a petition from coastal landowners had made them think again about being involved.
"We have no idea and no information as to why there has been a change of position and we are asking the Government to come out clean and say why it has gone ahead with and what of the petition that was presented by the people to the Government, saying they should not consider it because it is a serious risk to the environment."
Effrey Dademo of the NGO, Act Now