Papua New Guinea: Groups wants deep sea mining co. Nautilus' licenses cancelled so others can't continue project

Author: Ben Robinson Drawbridge, Radio New Zealand, Published on: 18 March 2019

"Call for PNG deep sea mining licenses to be cancelled", 14 March 2019

...[W]ith Nautilus now selling its assets to pay debts, the groups want its licenses cancelled so other miners can't continue the project.

With support from the Centre for Environmental Law and Community Rights, the groups went to court to seek the disclosure of the licenses and other documents they say the government is constitutionally bound to produce.

...The former chief justice Sir Arnold Amet also wants the licenses cancelled.

Sir Arnold says if released, the documents would show the government is liable for the company's debts and if the government can reacquire or cancel the licenses.

"All of those are going to be packaged and put on the market for any potential bidders. So, our abilities to actually extricate ourselves from those binding licenses and agreements, and to free ourselves from ongoing liabilities may be limited considerably by the current legal entitlements of Nautilus in the region."

...Sir Arnold says PNG is not equipped to regulate foreign mining companies, especially those experimenting with deep sea mining.

...Sir Arnold says other Pacific countries have given rights to Nautilus that could be sold to mining giants ready to exploit the sea floor and islanders who depend on the ocean.

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Related companies: Nautilus Minerals