O’Neill: NGOs need facts

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The National, Wednesday 5th September, 2012

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has urged non-governmental organisations to substantiate their claims with facts when disputing the Solwara 1 deep sea mining project in the Bismarck sea.
The prime minister said on Monday after returning from the Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Cook Islands that climate change, deep sea mining and sustainable development had been some of the issues discussed during the meeting.
He said NGOs who had claims against the deep sea mining project must always substantiate their claims with facts.
The project developers are Canadian-based company Nautilus Minerals.
“We are leading the Pacific with deep sea mining.
“We are obviously a leader in the Pacific and we want to ensure our resources are extracted in a sustainable manner.
“If the NGOs think that the project is not good, they must come up with hard facts.
“We have the Department of Environment that tries to ensure there is sustainable development.
“The department has engaged an internationally-recognised firm to do environmental studies. We have some of the best mines in the world,” O’Neill said.
He said the government is not stopping NGOs and concerned parties from raising their concerns but urged them to provide hard facts.
He said Nautilus Minerals had completed all environmental plans and was in the process of presenting a development plan to the government.