“Nautilus says zero waste” blares the headline (see below) in another piece of fictional journalism from Radio New Zealand inspired by Nautilus CEO, Mike Johnston. According to the news report Nautilus’s experimental seabed mining will “not discharge any waste into the ocean” – but nothing could be further from the truth!
Seabed mining is not some benign operation with no environmental impacts – and that is why New Zealand has already rejected two similar mining operations and Namibia and the Northern Territory of Australia have moratoria in place. Firstly gigantic robotic mining machines will rip up the seabed, creating large clouds of sediment that will be dispersed by ocean currents. Then thousands of tonnes of waste effluent will be pumped from the mother ship and will spew out of a pipe 20-50 metres above the seafllor creating more waste plumes. This effluent will be toxic to shallow water species according to Nautilus’s own environmental assessment. Further waste risks include the discharge of fuel and hydrocarbon leaks from surface vessels, the discharge of sewage and spills as ore is transferred between ships on the surface. And then there are the TAILINGS which will be created when the ore is processed. The processing is planned to take place in China so Nautilus seems to think we can forget about it as who cares about the Chinese and their environment? But Chinese companies have a terrible reputation for the environmental pollution and devastating human impacts of their chemical industries. There could not be a worse place on earth for Nautilus to be shipping its ore for processing.
One wonders why Radio New Zealand is happy to publish such crap…!!!
Nautilus says zero waste from PNG seabed mine
Radio New Zealand
The seabed mining company, Nautilus Minerals, says its world first operation to mine in Papua New Guinea’s Bismarck Sea will not discharge any waste into the ocean.
The company hopes to start mining on the sea floor by 2018, despite strong opposition from environmental activists and calls for caution from the scientific community.
But Nautilus’ chief executive Mike Johnston says his company has been conducting environmental impact studies since 2006.
He says the results have consistently shown the effects of the operation on the marine environment will be minimal.
“The total area directly impacted by mining is less than point one of a square kilometre. Impacts that are expected from the mining projects do not extend outside the mining lease. There are no tailings associated with our seafloor mining project which is pretty much unheard of for mining.”