Nautilus EIS in public domain for 8 years

THE environmental impact statement for Nautilus Minerals’ Solwara 1 seabed mining project has been on the company’s website for more than eight years.
Nautilus EIS in public domain for 8 years Nautilus EIS in public domain for 8 years Nautilus EIS in public domain for 8 years Nautilus EIS in public domain for 8 years Nautilus EIS in public domain for 8 years

Mike Johnston

Staff Reporter

The EIS - full document with all the appendices - has been available to anyone who wished to see it since April 2009.
"We translated the summary of the document into pidgin [Tok Pisin], and that is available as well. And there are also copies of our EIS at the offices of CEPA (Conservation Environment Protection Authority)," said Mike Johnston, Nautilus chief executive officer.
Johnson was responding to a comments by an activist NGO which says it intends to launch legal proceedings against the Papua New Guinea government to "obtain key documents" relating to the Solwara 1 project. 
"We have had three public hearings for the EML (extractive minerals lease) - in Port Moresby, Rabaul and Kavieng," said Johnson, who was responding to the claim that there had been "very little information about the Solwara 1 project" by NGO Centre for Environmental Law and Community Rights (CELCoR).
Johnston said that all the information about Solwara 1 had been freely available on the company's website and there were public hearings through the EIS process. Solwara 1 is in the Bismarck Sea, about 30km from the nearest coast in New Ireland Province.
"We have had ongoing community engagement and meetings," he said.
"All of their claims are baseless, from what I see," Johnston said, predicting that the court would throw out the proceedings.
"It is just another publicity stunt by NGOs to try and keep things in the newspapers.  I am not sure what they are trying to achieve or where it is going to go. People believe some of this stuff. The government has followed due process, PNG has good mining laws which are very similar to Australia's. The adopted Queensland's mining regulations," Johnston said. 
On Friday CELCoR said that acting on behalf of "coastal communities", it had launched legal proceedings against the PNG government in a bid to obtain key documents relating to the licensing and the environmental, health and economic impacts of the Solwara 1 project.
Activist Jonathan Mesulam, from the west coast of New Ireland Province, said this "information" had been requested for the past four years, but the government had ignored its requests.