Nautilus: Solwara 1 will push through

Business, Normal

The National, Thursday July 4th, 2013

 NAUTILUS Minerals country manager Mel Togolo has affirmed the company’s commitment to Papua New Guinea, adding that it remains confident the Solwara 1 project will be successfully implemented.

Togolo went on FM 100 Talkback to reiterate that the National Government and relevant stakeholders, including the New Ireland and East New Britain provincial governments are being supportive and that Nautilus will continue to engage and take a multi-stakeholder approach to project development.

“We have had very good co-operation from the New Ireland and East New Britain Provincial Governments …we look forward to working constructively with these Provinces,” Togolo said.   

Answering queries on why go to the sea for minerals, Togolo said due to society’s desire to use technology like mobile phones, internet, computers, electricity, fridges, cars, aeroplanes, ships etc, the demand for minerals is increasing and land resources are becoming stretched and so it was only wise that the vast ocean be explored to meet the world’s mineral demands.

He added that seafloor resource production is not new and Nautilus Minerals will be mining for mineralised ore at depths of 1,600m using adapted technology that has been used before in the oil, gas, dredging and land based mining operations.

He also said the Solwara 1 site was a well-researched site, which has seafloor massive sulphides containing high grades in copper, gold and silver. A small extraction area of 0.1 km2 also means a small impact or physical footprint.  

And, nobody lives at 1,600 m water depth, meaning no people need to be disturbed or relocated for mining to proceed. 

He assured listeners that the project will not relocate or displace any individuals or villages, it will not negatively impact livelihoods or any fish stocks and the coral reefs are safe as there won’t be any blasting and that there are no tailings associated with the Solwara 1 operation.  Nautilus Minerals has made a number of above and beyond commitments to ensure surface waters and fish stocks remain safe including the use of biodegradable fluids and a fully enclosed system.