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13 Mai 2020

Colin Filer, Jennifer Gabriel, & Matthew G. Allen, Devpolicy Blog

Pacific Ocean continues to be at the forefront of the global deep-sea mining frontier

"How PNG lost US$120 million and the future of deep-sea mining", 28 April 2020

...Papua New Guinea's Mineral Resources Authority declared that...the world's first deep-sea mine would 'not get off the ground'. [...]


[...] By the time [Nautilus Minerals Ltd] had already lost control of its material assets, Sir David Attenborough...declared that any deployment of these assets to the seafloor would be 'deeply tragic'. ...Deep Sea Mining Campaign....said that it was 'not just the company that is sinking, but the project — and the concept of deep-sea mining itself — that is going down with it'. The PNG Council of Churches published a statement saying that 'it will be a joke to the world if PNG says yes to this destructive monster in the absence of a relevant national policy and legislative framework on off-shore seabed mining'. ...[T]he Alliance of Solwara Warriors, a community-based organisation based in New Ireland Province, declared that it would be 'good news for my people if Nautilus goes bankrupt, instead of bankrupting our sea'.


So does the liquidation of Nautilus mark the end of the road for the deep-sea mining industry? That might be the case in PNG, but the Pacific Ocean continues to be at the forefront of the global deep-sea mining frontier. There are thought to be hundreds of active exploration licences in the national waters of six Pacific island nations, and four Pacific island states have sponsored the grant of exploration licences in the extra-territorial 'Area'.... The legacy of that investment continues in the form of a company called DeepGreen, which was established by former Nautilus CEO David Heydon. [...]