PAPUA NEW GUINEA – Toronto’s Nautilus Minerals has received an independent report that concludes the undersea Solwara 1 copper-gold project has the potential to have far less social and environmental impact than similar projects on land.
The Solwara 1 project is located in the Bismarck Sea 50 km north of Rabaul township. Nautilus has been working for many years to advance the first high grade seafloor copper-gold mine project. Mining is to begin in the first half of 2018 subject to financing and completion of the dredge and vessel.
The independent report, prepared by Earth Economics, compared the Solwara 1 project with three land-based copper projects – Bingham Canyon in Utah, Prominent Hill in Australia, and Intag in Ecuador.
Key findings point toward several advantages of sea floor mining:
- Neither people nor their villages will be displaced.
- There will be no impact on food production.
- Pollination, soil formation, erosion, historic and cultural values will not be disrupted.
- Groundwater and fresh water supplies will not be contaminated or diminished.
- The threat of a tailings dam failure is eliminated.
The full Report can be downloaded from the Nautilus Minerals website or Earth Economics.