THERE are critical issues surrounding the preferred option of dumping all the toxic waste of proposed Wafi-Golpu gold mine into the sea floor of Huon Gulf in Morobe under deep sea tailing system.
On the outset, the locality itself may not be suitable for hosting a deep see tailing system unlike other locations.
There needs to be an actual presentation of full dimensional undersea video photo map of the dumping site, it’s full dimensions of depth, volume and actual coordinates within which the tide and sea current data are taken at every 50 to 100 meters intervals to the base sea floor over time.
The array of solid and liquid particles and substances forming the slurry, including their chemical properties by mass and density has to be factored and presented as to how the toxic sediments will be diluted and fill the sea floor or their buoyancy potential to the feeding zone of marine life.
Without any such details, a deep see tailing system should be a no-go zone in this time and era.
The tidal basins around Huon Gulf area has high level of siltation from all tributaries running into the Markham river system and that is a real cause for concern.
Naturally, over time, the sediments will continue to slide into the deeper part of the sea floor as it spreads further in all directions with aid of the under-sea currents into the proposed disposal site of the deep sea tailing system.
Thus, it will most likely to cause a displacement effect on the deep sea tailing system waste to potentially undesirable locations.
In this case, the entire environment and the ecosystem within that zone is predicted to be highly unstable and not suitable to host a deep sea tailing system.
Given the ongoing trend of stable appreciation of gold prices, the best option is to insist on the developer to build a dual system of a tailings dam to detoxify and discharge through a deep sea tailing system every 3 to 6 months.
Who in his or her right mind would allow exploitation of a non-renewable resource to dump all toxics to the foundation base of a vast sustainable marine ecosystem in this volatile seafloor?
It is highly recommended that the environment permit and mining development license should not be granted for a single system.