Govt wrong to allow Nautilus, leader says

National, Normal

The National, Thursday October 10th, 2013

 A COMMUNITY leader in East New Britain said the arbitration ruling for the government to pay Nautilus Minerals nearly K300 million indicates it was wrong initially to allow the company into the country.

Jack Ephraim, an outspoken leader from the Duke of Yorks islands, in Kokopo district, said many concerned leaders and environmental organisations were calling on the government to reconsider its decision in allowing Nautilus to conduct exploration on the country’s seabed in the proposed Solwara 1 project in the Bismarck Sea.

Ephraim said the government had to pay the fine for breaching the contract with the company, which had indicated a lack of consultation with the people before making such a decision that would impact the lives of people between ENB and New Ireland.

He has cautioned the government to pay up its due before the deadline on Oct 23.

Ephraim said it was best if the government put a stop to anymore dealings with the company and said the project without a proper environmental impact study was likely to have environmental destruction.

It is understood Nautilus was looking forward to bringing the Solwara 1 project into production and will work with the state in order to progress.