Since 1997, Nautilus has been sampling polymetallic nodules from the seafloor and hoping to create a profitable mining operation. (Image: Nautilus Minerals)
PAPUA NEW GUINEA – A day before its May 8 annual meeting, Anglo American said it is pulling out of the Solwara 1 deep ocean mining project run by Nautilus Minerals of Toronto. Nautilus has held exploration licences for polymetallic nodule accumulations near seafloor hydrothermal vents since 1997.
Anglo confirmed to Deep Sea Mining Campaign, supported by MiningWatch Canada, that it would exit its investment. The non-governmental organizations are opposed to mining the ocean floor for fear of the environmental damage that would be done.
Dr. Helen Rosenbaum of the Deep Sea Mining Campaign said, “Anglo’s decision to dump their minority stake in this controversial and floundering company was the only option consistent with their international commitments to sus
tainability, human rights, and environmental stewardship. Deep sea mining is financially and environmentally risky.”
Nautilus is trying to keep the project alive with bridge loans, but the future of deep sea mining is far from certain. See the company’s website at www.NautilusMinerals.com.