August 27, 2013
Villagers in Danu on the West Coast of New Ireland are protesting that they have been forced to sign agreements to move off their land by Canadian mining company Nautilus Minerals.
Nautilus is hoping to operate the world's first experimental seabed mine off the coast of New Ireland in an area known as Solwara 1.
"The people in Danu are confused and angry", says Rosa Koian of the Bismarck Ramu Group (BRG), which has recently visited the area.
"Their village has been invaded under the cover of darkness and the people have been bullied and harassed".
"Whoever is behind the agreements that people have signed it is clear there has been no proper process and people have not given their informed consent to the use of their land" says Effrey Dademo, Program Manager for community advocacy group, ACT NOW!
"The people are distressed and do not even have copies of the papers they were made to sign"
"We are calling on Nautilus Minerals to make a statement about what they know of recent events in Danu and whether they have any plans to evict local people," says Ms. Koian.
"If Nautilus is in anyway connected with recent events then that is an outrageous way for a foreign company to be operating."