PNG Government to pursue Solwara 1 talks

Photo: Nautilus Minerals

Papua New Guinea Mining Minister Sir Ano Pala says the Government expects to pursue discussions with a deep sea mining company to revisit the potential for extracting minerals in the Bismark Sea off the west coast of Namatanai, New Ireland.

Deep Sea Mining Finance Ltd (DSMF), the company that acquired Nautilus Minerals, which had previously pursued interest in deep sea mining in the mid-2000s through the project known as Solwara 1.

According to information on the DSMF website, the company is a privately owned group aiming to become the first in the world to mine the sea floor of massive sulphide deposits, starting with its high grade copper-gold Solwara 1 project.

“We expect discussions again with the company,” Sir Ano told The National.

A statement from New Ireland government confirmed also that Governor Sir Julius Chan met with a team from the company this week in the province.

“The governor also found time in between the provincial executive meeting to engage in dialogue with DSMF,” the statement said.

“The team from Deep Sea Mining Finance Ltd was led by its CEO Chris Jordinson, including technical service manager Glen Jones, offshore exploration project manager Anthony Manocchio and Nautilus Minerals country manager Paul Lahari.”

“Jordinson indicated to the governor and PEC members to have met with Mining Minister Sir Ano Pala and the Mineral Resources Authority last week in Port Moresby. The dialogue between the company and New Ireland government is vital as they are responsible for the local impacted communities of the proposed Solwara 1 project off West Coast New Ireland.”

“The NIPG have suggested to the developer, Deep Sea Mining Finance Ltd to conduct proper awareness with the locals on the proposed project including engaging an independent scientist to evaluate possible environmental impacts and give confidence to the local people that the project will not in any way affect their livelihood.”