Nautilus has NOT reached agreement with PNG

Canadian mining company misleading investors and the markets

Canadian mining company Nautilus Minerals is misleading its shareholders and the financial markets by falsely claiming it has reached agreement with Papua New Guinea to proceed with its controversial experimental seabed mining project, Solwara 1, says community activist groups ACT NOW!

“The truth is that Papua New Guinea remains firmly opposed to experimental seabed mining which will be environmentally irresponsible, breach the international precautionary principal and does not have the informed consent of local people”, says ACT NOW! Program Manager, Effrey Dademo.

ACT NOW! says Nautilus has falsely advertised that a conditional agreement with the government of PNG to take a 15% stake in the project and the payment of an initial $7 million means its plans are unopposed. 

Nautilus CEO, Mike Johnston, has told BBC News “It’s a taken a long time but everybody is very happy”.

“This statement is simply untrue and is deeply misleading”, says Ms Dademo.

“More than 24,00 people have signed a petition opposing the Solwara 1 mine and they are supported by the Pacific Conference of Churches[i], international scientists[ii], the Lutheran Church Youth Movement[iii], the Governors of Madang[iv] and Oro Provinces[v], the people of New Ireland[vi] and East New Britain[vii] Provinces, the people of the Duke of York[viii] and Karkar islands[ix], the Parliamentary opposition led by Belden Namah[x], the Shark Callers of New Ireland[xi], senior lawyers[xii] and the National Fisheries Authority[xiii]”.

ACT NOW! says the opposition to experimental seabed mining extends right across the Pacific region.

Vanuatu has imposed a moratorium on exploration[xiv], Pacific regional civil society organizations have spoken out[xv], Solomon Islands civil society[xvi] and communities have expressed their opposition[xvii], as have politicians and NGOs in the Cook Islands[xviii].

In New Zealand there is a strong community campaign against seabed mining and the Environmental Protection Authority there has received 4,700 submissions opposing seabed mining plans off the Taranaki coast[xix].

Even in Africa, the Namibian government has imposed a three-year moratorium on seabed mining applications[xx].

The truth is the only support Nautilus has for its experimental seabed mining plans comes from a few gullible and ignorant politicians in the PNG government and a minority of senior officers in the Mineral Resource Authority.