Sea is the final frontier for mining

Normal, Shipping


SEA bed mining will be the next frontier in the mining industry for the future, according to Nautilus Minerals.
This was the message to PNG Ports Corporation managers and senior executives last week by Stephen McLay of Nautilus Minerals when giving an update of the company’s activities and its sea floor mineral explorations with mining potential in PNG.
Mr McLay, who is a project manager for Nautilus Minerals, said that, although mining started on land, the trend would turn seaward.
 As there will be fewer discoveries in the mining frontiers on the land, the next frontier in the mining industry will be the sea.
Nautilus Minerals has been conducting mining exploration in what is called Solwara One in the Bismarck Sea between northern Rabaul and New Ireland and also in the Woodlark area.
There are also other undersea mining potential sites in the Pacific including Tonga and the coastline of Fiji in which the company has interests.
These potential undersea mining areas were found within the active volcanic Pacific Ring of Fire where there are literally thousands of ore deposits found across the sea-floor due to volcanic activities along the crusts.
Minerals that have been found to be contained in ore deposits under the sea include zinc, gold and silver, to name a few.
Mr McLay said that due to these large deposits under the sea, there was “enormous potential” for undersea mining in PNG.
He said many undersea explorations had already been carried out and the company aimed to actually put minerals on the world market.
“Our current focus is the Solwara One in PNG in the Bismark Sea”, Mr McLay said.
“We have got our environment permit issued last month but what we are doing now is community consultations with the stakeholders before work kicks starts in early 2010.”