Offshore mining policy vital

How can a legitimate government approve and invest tax payers money in experimental seabed mining when it does not even have a policy to cover it?

And why has there been no public consultation process on the draft policy?

Yet another example of a government captured by foreign mining interests rather than working for the people of PNG…

Shirley Mauludu | The National aka The Loggers Times 

THE country should have an Offshore Mining Policy by the end of the year or early next year to cater for offshore mining operations, an official says.

Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management secretary Shadrach Himata was responding yesterday to questions by The National on whether it was necessary to have an offshore mining policy in place before any seabed mining operation could take place.

“The Offshore Mining Policy is currently going through the Government’s vetting and approval process,” Himata said.

“If all goes well, the policy will be applicable by end of the year or early next year.”

However, he said the Mining Act 1992 catered for offshore operations such as the Nautilus Minerals Solwara One project, but only to a certain extent.

“The current mining legislation (Mining Act 1992) was sufficient enough to cover the regulation of both onshore and offshore mining activities in Papua New Guinea,” he said.

He said although the current Act was more comprehensive, it requires more improvements.

“Although the current Act is a bit more comprehensive with respect to the regulation of onshore mining activities, it requires more specific improvements on the regulation of offshore mining activities,” Himata said.

Hence, the Nautilus Solwara1 project was sufficiently permitted under the current Mining Act 1992. “What the department is doing now is developing a more specific offshore mining Policy,” he said.

“The policy will entail how benefits derived from an offshore project will be distributed and shared. This policy will be used when the Nautilus project comes on stream.”

He said the policy would greatly assist the department.

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