PNG Government to announce 'Ocean Policy' to mine the Ocean Floor
The Government has created an ocean policy to manage Papua New Guinea’s maritime resources that will be announced soon, Deputy Prime Minister Davis Steven says.
He said this in light of the discontinued Solwara 1 project which was supposed to be one of the country’s main maritime projects involving deep-sea mining.
“The Solwara 1 project continues to remind us, as a nation, to be careful in how we deal with our maritime resources, the blue economy that we have,” he said.
“So in that context, look out for our ocean policy.”
Meanwhile, a team has been put together to investigate the project and why it failed to eventuate.
Steven said a significant amount of money had been invested into the project and it was secured through a bank loan.
He said the terms of reference into the investigation had been determined but he was also seeking legal advice.
“There is legal advice being sought because, if I have to, I can go to court immediately instead of doing an investigation because I feel that this case should not have been allowed to happen in the first place,” he said.
“That is not a criticism to anybody.”
Steven also clarified that it was not within the Government’s priority to put off the Solwara 1 project.
“Our Government’s priority right now is to reform the law, take back PNG using lawful means, building investor confidence, building industry, building capacity but what belongs to the people of Papua New Guinea must be given to the people and not by stealing but by the right way.”
Steven said the Solwara 1 project had the potential to contribute to the country’s economy.
“For me, Solwara 1 project has potential, however, we have to be careful in the absence of a policy, in the absence of a framework, to protect our resources.”