By Calvin Caspar
New Ireland Province has rejected the draft Memorandum of Agreement for the Nautilus-led Solwara 1 deep-sea mining project. The draft M-O-A was produced at the recent Kokopo Consultation Meeting on the project’s Benefit Sharing Agreements.
Dorcas Sawan reports the Chairman for Economic, Trade and Commerce, in the New Ireland Provincial Executive Council, Marius Soiat as telling the meeting that New Ireland was not asked to contribute to the drafting of this M-O-A, thus it will not accept it.
Mr Soiat described the draft M-O-A as a typical act of the National Government to bulldoze its agenda without consulting the people concerned. He said 60 to 70 percent of the proposed Solwara 1 project will be located in New Ireland waters, yet the Mineral Resources Authority does not consider it important to consult New Ireland before they present a draft mining agreement.
Mr Soiat also says New Ireland will continue to reject the project until its given the assurance that concerns with the environment assessment are met, and that there are mechanisms in place to deal with an environmental disaster.