Mining in the Pacific - an industry perspective

The 2012 IUCN World Conservation Congress has provided a forum for all sectors of society, including industry to discuss critical issues concerning the conservation and sustainable use of nature. Nautilus Minerals, the first company in the world to be granted a deep-sea mining license, is here at the Congress to share their work and plans. 

Pacific Resource and Environmental Economics Network Photo: IUCN

The global demand for minerals is on the rise and attention is now shifting to the opportunities that can be obtained from the seabed. It has been proposed that seafloor mineral deposits may play a role in supplying society with an acceptable means of obtaining metals needed to meet global development objectives.

While mining is expected to begin off the coast of Papua New Guinea in the Bismark Sea within the next 18 months Pacific Island governments are weighing the costs and benefits of engaging in deep-sea mining.

IUCN spoke with Dr. Samantha Smith of Nautilus Minerals on why she is at congress.


“IUCN believes that dialogue is important and any impacts on biodiversity, people’s well-being and livelihoods by industries is considered carefully and minimized as much as possible,” says Jan Steffen, Marine Programme Coordinator at IUCN Oceania Regional Office.

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