New Campaign Seeks End to Ocean Mine Waste Dumping

March 7, 2018
Today an international coalition of environmental and human rights groups announced the start of a new campaign to end the submarine disposal of hazardous mine waste, known as tailings. The practice smothers seabed floors and coral reefs, threatens fisheries, and harms human and wildlife health.

A Norwegian, a Papua New Guinean and an American walk into a Bar

March 7, 2018 • Ellen Moore
Do you like riddles? Then try this one on for size: what does your wallet have in common with Papua New Guinea? Give up? OK, I’ll give you a hint: it’s got something to do with that little plastic rectangle… More »

Basamuk Bay

The Ramu nickel and copper mine in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has generated controversy and deep concerns over its environmental and social record. Despite fierce local opposition and a legal battle that suspended operations for 19 months, the mine is… More »

Women as change makers in Papua New Guinea

December 11, 2017 • Immaculate Javia
Women around the world have been applauded for breakthroughs in male dominated fronts and for fighting for gender equity. Yet there are others who silently occupy male dominated settings, performing tasks executed by men while also fulfilling their own responsibilities… More »

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The Dangers of Deep Sea Mining

September 28, 2015 • Shreema Mehta

For the mining industry, technological advances have made the world’s oceans the new frontier. Both companies and governments have started exploration and even tout deep-sea mining as a safer alternative to the problems caused by mineral extraction. But they do so in the absence of any scientific consensus on the long-term impacts of deep-sea mining.

Papua New Guinea Court Demands Cleanup at Mine

February 4, 2014 • Shreema Mehta

It's remarkable to think about the things irresponsible mining companies get away with -- particularly in isolated and developing parts of the world.  For example, mining companies regularly dump toxic mine waste directly into the world's rivers, lakes and oceans – killing wildlife, contaminating drinking water and destroying livelihoods in the process. But recently, the tiny Pacific Island nation of Papua New Guinea, said: enough is enough. PNG's National Court ordered the huge Ok Tedi mine, formerly run by BHP Billiton, to stop dumping mine waste into the river.

Troubled Waters in Papua New Guinea

July 23, 2013 • Shreema Mehta

In our Troubled Waters report, we detailed the egregious but routine practice of mining companies dumping mine waste in rivers, lakes and other water bodies, particularly in the developing world. Mining companies are dumping more than 180 million tonnes of hazardous mine waste each year into rivers, lakes, and oceans worldwide, threatening vital bodies of water with toxic heavy metals and other chemicals poisonous to humans and wildlife.

Auga-Angabanga Watershed

Every year in Papua New Guinea, South African mining company Durban Roodepoort Deep Ltd (DRD Gold) dumps more than 160,000 tons of contaminated mine waste directly into the Auga-Angabanga river system.

Even worse, DRD Gold transports everything to and from the Tolukuma Gold Mine (TGM) by helicopter, including cyanide which is used for ore extraction. This risky transportation system failed in 2000 when one ton of cyanide was dropped from a helicopter over the Yaloge River Valley on the way to the mine. Community members attribute up to six deaths to the cyanide spill.