Leave mineral reserves in seabed

Letters, Normal

The National, Wednesday 29th August, 2012

WHOEVER is pushing for undersea mining has forgotten about people whose livelihood depends on the sea and marine life.
No mining technology in the world is perfect.
There is no guarantee that Nauti­lus’ operations would not leave be­hind serious environmental consequences.
We must not forget that recently, one of the world’s leading and repu­table energy giants, BP, had one of its undersea wells blown up in the Gulf of Mexico, and millions of barrels of cruel oil flowed into the ocean, cau­sing massive environmental damage.
The cost ran in tens of millions of dollars.
Who can say that undersea mining is safe?
Where is the rationale for the go­vernment to push for a project that has so many unanswered questions?
PNG has more than enough resour­ces to develop in order to support its economy and people for a long time.
Our strong resources base makes PNG one of the richest nations.
But our biggest problem is poor economic management and syste­mic corruption.
The other problem in relation to resource development is the lack
of coordinated and adroit negotiations by the state and this is repeatedly reflected in almost all project agreements.
The LNG project is a good example of a very bad deal for PNG.
I propose the government reimburse Nautilus for exploration costs incurred with a 10% interest.
This is to avoid the issue of expropriation and liabilities.
Our mineral reserves should be
fully audited or certified and be allowed to remain where they are.
This will be a natural treasury kept in our seabed, untouched by un­scrupulous or corrupt people.
Keeping certified gold reserves in our seabed will certainly add va­lue to our economy and give strength to our kina.
This is prudent economic management as PNG does not even have a single bar of gold in the Central Bank from our many so-called world-class gold mines.

K. Koya
Ialibu, SHP