Solomon Islands authorities tighten control over deep sea mining projects

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SYDNEY, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Solomon Islands authorities have expressed caution as they make future approvals for deep sea mining projects in the country, local newspaper Solomon Star reported on Tuesday.

Solomon Islands' Minister of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification Bradley Tovosia said at a parliament conference that the new approach includes a requirement that only after a nationwide consultation can a deep-sea mining lease be issued.

The approach will be supported by an emerging advisory committee, made up of representatives from various ministries such as fisheries, finance, environment and other stakeholders.

Mining companies that are conducting studies on deep sea mining in the country are also expected to share the information and data with the ministry.

"This is to explore the impacts of deep sea mining in the Solomon Islands' context and to ensure there's control, checks and balance, mitigation and the management of the effect of the deep sea mining," he said.

Tovosia pointed out that there have been concerns about human impact especially on the environment and fish stock, as many countries are seeking opportunities to conduct deep sea mining in the Solomon Islands. The objective of this mining policy will create opportunities for communities and stakeholders to discuss the appropriateness of deep sea mining for the Solomon Islands.

"This is a new thing and we will be very careful how we handle this when it comes to deep sea mining," he said.

Tovosia said his ministry will closely monitor similar underwater projects around the country and learn experience from land mining management. Enditem

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