Post Courier | October 1, 2017
Given that there will be minimal spin-off benefits to landowners as a result of the world’s first deep sea mine, the developer says it will heavily focus on its community service obligation.
The issue of benefits has been one of the main concerns of the leaders of both New Ireland and East New Britain who were in Port Moresby last week to witness the trials being conducted on the Nautilus Minerals Inc’s mining equipment .
For the ENB delegation the issue had been raised by Florence Paisparea who is the forest and environmental coordinator of the ENB provincial administration.
Nautilus Minerals Inc vice president for the Papua New Guinea operations, Adam Wright said unlike the traditional land-based mines, the foot print of the Solwara One project, would be quite small and likewise the benefits.
Mr Wright said employment would be limited as the firm will be employing about 200 people compared to Newcrest Lihir’s 3000.
He said other spin-off business would also be limited as its operations would be out at sea and there would not need services including buses, security and laundry services all associated with the land-based mines.
Mr Wright said it had already begun implementing this project especially in the coastal areas along the West Coast of New Ireland in the coastal areas of benefits (CAB) ahead of production.
Mr Wright told the leaders from ENB the firm would be delivering its first project-a community health post on Wotum Island by the year’s end.
He said apart from health, education, infrastructure development, and business development would be other focus areas.
“What we want to do is help generate businesses that will still be going once we are gone. We are looking at areas of cocoa and copra and trying to help people rehabilitate plantations and get those industries running.
Royalty was stated as another benefit, which Mr Wright said would be paid when the company begins production.
He said from discussions held, the intention is to have that distributed down to the local level government level.
Mr Wright said there is already a draft agreement, which once finalised would be signed off.
He added that this is the agreement that will address all these issues.