Nautilus claims on experimental seabed mining risks ignore the facts

Claims by Nautilus Minerals that its experimental seabed mining will be safe are not credible. As well as a flawed scientific analysis the company is not being transparent about its proposed systems, is not discussing the risky shipment and transshipment of the mined deposits and is not disclosing how and where the toxic processing wastes will be dumped.

On Friday, Nautilus’s Vice President for Corporate Communications, Joe Dowling went on radio to defend the company’s experimental seabed mining. He claimed that Nautlius has created a closed mining system that will not affect the upper levels of the ocean. But scientists say there is no such thing as a closed system in the marine environment.  The ocean is one interconnected space.  What happens on the bottom of the ocean will affect the surface layers – its just a matter of time.

Scientists also want the systems developed by Nautlius to be released into the public domain so they can be subject to proper scrutiny.

Scientists and academics are also pointing out that as well as the risks from the seabed mining operation itself, Nautilus is yet to say where and how the deposits dug up from the seabed will be processed and how the toxic wastes will be disposed of. This issue was carefully avoided by Dowling in his media interview on Friday. Papua New Guinea has controversially allowed toxic waste from the new Ramu nickel mine to be dumped straight into the ocean and Nautilus have not ruled out that they could do the same.

As well as avoiding the topic of processing and toxic wastes, Dowling was also careful in his comments not to discuss the risks inherent in the barging of the deposits dug from the sea floor to Rabaul where they will be stored on land before being transshipped to the as yet undisclosed processing plant.

Several reports have been released that undermine Nautilus’s claims about its experimental seabed mining:

You can read Dowlings interview here – Nautilus defends experimental seabed mining



Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

4 responses to “Nautilus claims on experimental seabed mining risks ignore the facts

  1. Wesely

    These (particular) so called “fears” that Ramu Mind Wash seeks to harvest and maintain are, in reality, rubbish, highly speculative, and desperate.
    Why not then ban all sea cargo in the region, including bunker fuel and any other material that poses a risk if not contained.
    While you there let’s find a way of containing subsea volcanic activity which releases a much more metal contaminant into the waters and has been doing so for 1,000’s of years.
    For the benefit of the readers an absolutely enormous amount of volcanic contaminant as and is being released in the East New Britain’s surface waters over the last three years than the entire volume of material to be mined by the company.
    You can’t control volcanoes but the company’s proposal can be controlled.
    Likewise, that in no way takes into account the huge volume of subsea volcanic activity occurring on the sea floor in the region including right next to Sowara 1’s site.

  2. Wesely

    The only people who are “Out of their Depth” here is Mind Wash and its cohort of unemployed or utterly emotionally subjective unprofessional ambulance chasing academics seeing their next source of fame and glory, at all consts to the nation……..

  3. Wesely

    Oh, and have a nice day!

  4. Pingback: Social Concerns Notes – December 2011 | Social Concerns

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