19 March 2021 - NW427
Paulsen, Mr N M to ask the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy
What action has he taken to discourage seabed mining, as bulk sediment mining of the deep seafloor is likely to have a severe and negative impact on sensitive seabed habitats and the ecosystem services that they provide, and given that the competency to consider and approve mining licences lies with his department? NW482E
Although the primary aim lies along advancing development premised on the principles of sustainable development, where any proposed mining along and within seabed could potentially pose severe and/or irreversible damage to ecosystem in question even with mitigation measures in place such application cannot be granted or approved.
The provisions of section 48 of the MPDRA which list out area over which prospecting or mining is prohibited. If the area constitutes such an area as per the assessment made, the Minister can invoke the provisions of section 49 of the MPRDA and restrict or prohibit mining over such relevant seabed.