Canadian mining company Nautilus Minerals appears to have hijacked Papua New Guinea’s mining regulator, the Mineral Resource Authority. Nautilus is using the MRA as a vehicle in its public relations campaign actively promoting its controversial seabed mining plans to a skeptical public.
The Mineral Resources Authority is the statutory body in PNG charged with all of the technical and operational roles relating to the administration and management of the Mining sector and mining safety.
But instead of acting as a regulator of the mining sector, ensuring the interests of Papua New Guinean’s, the MRA is actively promoting Nautilus Minerals and seabed mining, as the photos below of the MRA stall at the Goroka Show last month clearly demonstrate.
Ironically the MRA was created in 2005 precisely because the former Department of Mining did not have the institutional capacity to effectively manage mining developments in Papua New Guinea.
As the MRA points out in its own brochure, “evidenced by the situation in Ok Tedi, Ramu and Porgera, the [Mining] Department’s internal capability to undertake necessary technical assessment of mining operations was very limited”.
Unfortunately it seems Nautilus Minerals has no respect for PNG laws and institutions and has chosen to use the MRA for its own ends.