Nautilus Minerals has hijacked PNG’s mining regulator

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.

The MRA stall at the recent Goroka show

MRA: Regulator or mining industry advocate?




Filed under Environmental impact, Papua New Guinea

6 responses to “Nautilus Minerals has hijacked PNG’s mining regulator

  1. interested observer

    And exactly how has Nautilus “hijacked” a government statutory organisation? How does any organisation do that? What proof do you have that Nautilus has done this? Are you suggesting corruption?

    Has it ever occurred to you that Nautilus has had nothing to do with the stance taken by the MRA on deep-sea mining; and that the MRA officials have the profesionalism to make judgements for themselves and the integrity to support and defend the professional judgements they have made.

    Your unfounded assertions about the MRA and its staff are demeaning in the extreme, as is the inference that they are corrupt. And yet you offer no evidence to support your allegations and inferences; you simply throw them out to the public and hope that someone believes them.

    Maybe the thinking members of society would be more inclined to give some credence to the questions and doubts raised by those opposing deep-sea mining if those leading the opposition acted in a professional and measured manner instead of handing out emotive, unsupported allegations and attacks without any thought for those they impact. But I guess you are trying to appeal to others similar to youself rather than the thinking members of society ……………..

    • Interested Observer: (and Wesley)
      Doesn’t take much IQ to put together the text here and the photos to gain some understanding of a connection? Maybe there should be more questions asked?

      Instant accusations of “non-thinking” is the same arguement used world wide against all and sundry! I’d like to find out information from both sides – or is the science settled?

  2. Wesely

    How does this demonstrate that MRA has been “hi-jacked” ?
    Is this not a some what emotional and self serving interpolation?

  3. Seneina Tosali

    MRA before you go on approving exploration licences and mining agreements were you suppose to consult the sustainable citizens/land owners of this NATION first. Like Milne Bay Province, MRA issued exploration licences to boundary zones around Samarai Murua areas for Misima: EL1388, 1387, 1389 and another company ATS Boots has ELs starting from 1520-1540 offshore for Woodlarke Waters and the renewal of ELs 1569 and 1619 by Nautillus Minerals Niugini Limited. We also question ELs 2110 and 2111 yet to be gazetted by MRA. I believe Nautillus Minerals were granted exploration licences since March 2009. Did the parties concerned considered the sustainable landowners or citizens of MilneBay before granting such licences and agreements or provide information about your engagement with Nautillus seabed mining in our waters? No, our data proves otherwise.

  4. Wesely

    The “sustainable citizens” were consulted.
    Perhaps you are not one of them

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