September 3, 2021 No Comments Uncategorized Civil Society Forum of Tonga

August 30, 2021.

Civil Society Forum of Tonga (CSFT) has always cautioned the government since 2012 that Deep Sea Mining will bring doom to Tonga and its people will ended up paying a very hefty price for imminent environmental degradation and loss of livelihood for over 90% of its people.

The Ocean is the Oasis for all marine life. Human is tasked with protecting that Oasis and not destroying it. The threat of Deep Sea Mining (DSM) is real and irreversible. It will affect our ocean. The threat of the bloom will travel far from the collector points and downpipes and can suffocate marine life in the deep. The vibration from the riser and shakes from mining machines can scare away Whales, tunas and snappers. Transboundary disturbance from mining, blooms and noises can affect neighboring state’s tenement, which means Sponsoring States will be liable to cleaning up any environmental effect caused to that tenement. Ribbing apart of the Seafloor for Massive Sulphide can disturb the Carbon Sequestration and increase the risk of Methane leaks which is believed to be more potent than any that human has ever known. These threats does not justify Deep Sea Minerals as answers to our Blue Economy. It can potentially worsen current Climate Situations.

Mr. Havea added, “The Tongan Government has sponsored DeepGreen’s subsidiary TOML (Tonga Offshore Mineral Limited) to explore an area of the Pacific Ocean. Deep Green has built a pro-Environment profile as an advocator for the Blue Economy. It gave the world false message that the Deep will not be harmed, despite rising evidence to prove otherwise. It has now revised its preliminary prospectus filed with the US Securities Exchange Commission[1](SEC) to come clean that these claims are false.“

Tonga is not prepared to counter any impact cause by Deep Sea Mining. We don’t have the expertise, the resource and the funding to monitor work that are done by TMOL .  Tonga cannot monitor works that are currently undertaken by TMOL, in the AREA under our sponsorship.  “We have to take their word at face value. That the best examples of how unprepared Tonga is”, said Mr. Drew Havea “…we cannot even contested any of their statement because we can’t- we don’t have the skill, the expertise or the funds to say otherwise. We don’t even have a regulation yet, despite having passed the law in 2014”.

The prospectus lodged with the SEC ( admits that there is uncertainty regarding the impact of mining deep sea nodules on biodiversity which could be more significant than expected. It concedes that mitigation strategies may not prevent biodiversity loss and species extinctions, that impacts on biodiversity and the ocean ecosystem may never be known, and that the impact of mining nodules on global biodiversity may not be less than land-based mining. (Page 50)

Mr Havea concludes, “We call on the Kingdom of Tonga to terminate its sponsorship of TOML and to support a moratorium on seabed mining on the grounds that science predicts that the damage from will be severe and long term.[2]

[1]DeepGreen Metals hopes to go public by combining with Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corp (SOAC) to produce an new entity named The Metals Company. SOAC is a SPAC – Special Purpose Acquisition Company. SPACs allows private firms to become publicly traded and listed on stock exchanges without the time, capital, and regulatory expenditures required in a traditional IPO. They are often referred to as ‘blank cheque’ companies.    

[2] For example: Chin, A and Hari, K, 2020, Predicting the impacts of mining of deep sea polymetallic nodules in the Pacific Ocean: A review of Scientific literature, Deep Sea Mining Campaign and MiningWatch Canada, and Smith, C. et al, Deep-Sea Misconceptions Cause Underestimation of Seabed-Mining Impacts. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 2020; DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2020.07.002  

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