Privatisation of the deep sea bed has already started, as companies move to exploit potentially highly valuable mineral deposits, lying up to 2 kms below the surface and spread over hundreds of square miles. But opposition to oceanic mining – from Indigenous Peoples and scientists – has been mounting.
The criticisms may have come too late to stop the first operational mine of this kind, as Papua New Guinea’s prime minister apparently signed a licence for Nautilus Mineral’s Solwara 1 project on October 22nd.
However, Radio Australia reported the same day that, due to disagreements over certain “issues” between the government and company, the licensing had been deferred.
London-based Anglo American is a minority shareholder in Nautilus.