Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape says a moratorium has been placed on the Nautilus deep sea mining and will continue until scientific evidence proves otherwise.

Marape said the Melanesian Spearhead Group(MSG) made a resolution to ban deep sea mining until technology and studies showed that it could be done in an environmentally-sensitive manner.

“PNG waters have the most fertile ground for tuna so we’re also mindful of that,” he said.

“Nautilus Mining has every right to continue doing business in the country in other areas apart from deep sea mining.”

Marape said the Government had invested K3 million already to find out more about the project.

“If environmentally okay based on scientific evidence on a case by case basis, it could be processed.

Mineral Resources Development acting managing director Jerry Garry said the mining sector must meet global expectations of environment and social governance (ESG).

Garry said the Mining Act 1992 had limitations, and failed to adequately address certain aspects of the mining business, more so, the inclusion of the ESG.

He said every major company globally was gearing to promote ESG more than ever.

“From a global perspective, it has become critical and demanding that all companies that seek investment in the extractive industry must show strong commitment to the ESG,” he said.