PNG Gives OK to Deep-Sea Mining

Well shit…

The green-lighting of the world’s first deep-sea mineral mine in Papua New Guinea waters has caused alarm among scientists and indigenous people who fear it will damage local marine life.

Papua New Guinea’s prime minister, Michael Somare, today licensed the new mine for ore that contains copper, zinc and gold, to be run by Canadian company Nautilus Minerals. Sited in the Manus Basin within Papua New Guinea’s territorial waters, it will be near hydrothermal vents 1,600 metres below the surface.

Driven by rising copper prices around the world, Nautilus’ Solwara 1 project will excavate 1.2 to 1.8m tonnes of high-grade sulphide ore a year.

Scientists are concerned about the scale of the mining. Paul Tyler from the University of Southampton and chair of the Census of Marine Life said: “Hydrothermal vents have a very distinctive fauna that is only found on hydrothermal vents so mining close to the vents could wipe out the vents or cause a large amount of damage in the surrounding area.”

Join me in singing along. Replace lyrics as you see fit. Perhaps we can convince KZ to gives us a modified version on his Whiskey Wednesday show.

via Papua New Guinea gives green light to deep-sea mineral mine | Environment | guardian.co.uk.

Dr. M (1628 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.





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4 comments on “PNG Gives OK to Deep-Sea Mining
  1. Pingback: Lancashire MCS Blog » Blog Archive » Marine Science roundup, 22nd October 2010

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