Australian arbitrator chosen for PNG mining dispute

Radio Australia

Long spined sea urchins on a seabed

A former Australian chief justice has been appointed to resolve a dispute between the PNG Government and mining company, Nautilus Minerals.

The dispute is delaying the opening of the world’s first seafloor gold and copper mine.

The PNG Government signed an agreement with Nautilus last March to take a 30 per cent stake in the firm’s Solwara 1 site in the Bismark Sea.

Since then environment groups have waged a vociferous campaign against seafloor mining and PNG has failed to pay its share of the initial investment.

Nautilus and PNG both accuse each other of breaching the agreement.

In a statement, Nautilus says the parties have agreed to the appointment of Australia’s former chief Justice Murray Gleeson as arbitrator.

Arbitration will take place in Sydney and is expected to take several months.

Nautilus hopes to start mining gold and copper deposits off the coast of PNG next year.



Filed under Environmental impact, Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

5 responses to “Australian arbitrator chosen for PNG mining dispute

  1. j kross

    Is the former Aussie chief justice a conservative, liberal or green?
    He better be careful here because PNG is known for arresting chief justices when the decision goes against those in power. It’s a crazy place here, not even safe for serving chief justices, let alone former cj’s.

  2. He will find that the PNG government was in error….
    It goes without saying.

  3. Since Petromin has squandered cash from other projects, they can’t come up with PNG share of the cost, thus the dispute! Plain and simple Petromin is the problem and should be tried for stealing the money of PNG not hold Nautilus hostage.

  4. Lagani

    The people have voiced against the seabed mining…mind you oz, would ya allow underwater mining in your territorial waters by chinese? I guess not! So let PNG waters free from destruction stop that bullying tactic to treat PNG like an oz territory. PNG is a sovereign nation and the mistake on the initial negotiation leading to lending of money for the seabed mining was a mistake without second thouhgt by right thinking goevernment of the day at the time. PNG government was in error…that’s clear, negotiate ways to recoup money and not digging the seabed or for that matter…money cannot replace underwater beauty, as it will affect the food chain.

    Like kross stated, PNG is the land of unexpected…

    • Wesely

      There is no money being lent by PNG to teh company
      Get your facts right.
      PNG was becoming an equity partner to the project
      It was going to be partly owned by PNG
      Don’t necessarily agree with this but its a fact.
      There was no bullying here, all the permits were granted by PNG (Kepas Wali, MRA).
      The other thing is that you should read to environmental report on the project
      It would go a little way to understanding why the project is not likely to injure the environment.
      Garry Juffa should do the same.

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