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Seabed Mining Won’t Affect Tuna

Nautilus Minerals country manager Mel Togolo believes there is a bright prospect in cooperation with the tuna fishery sector.

Togolo said this at the fourth Pacific regional tuna industry forum held last week in Honiara, the capital of Solomon Islands.

Togolo told the PNG media during an interview that the operations of the controversial seabed mining by Nautilus would be a safe one with consultation with stakeholders to design a safe production method that would have minimum impact on marine life.

He based his comments on the information Nautilus provided, saying the company has developed and designed an enclosed pipe production system where all the ore mined will be piped up through to the vessel.

Togolo said before developing the mining equipment, information sharing was paramount in getting the right design.

He said that there was wide consultation to make sure the machinery built were of world class standard so that operations would not affect tuna and other marine life.

Togolo said that there were extensive discussions to come up with an enclosed system where ore mined will not come into contact with the marine life,piping everything straight to vessels.

“Most of the tuna and majority of the marine life live in the sea within the first 400 meters of the ocean where photosynthesis, light and oxygen is available,” Togolo said.

“But deep sea mining operations will be conducted at a depth of 1,600 meters below the surface, where there is minimal marine life and things that humans don’t consume live there”

He said in terms of developing this production system, there will be zero use of chemicals and blasting, which would have minimum impact on tuna and other marine life.

“We continue to build our machinery overseas in England and the US and setting up the stage to bring them up to the vessels will be a major task,”Togolo said.

“We will co-operate in terms of research and on-board safety with local maritime agencies like the National Maritime Safety Authority, to provide information on up-to-date shipping charges and telecommunication.”.