Posted on July 09, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
On June the 1st an accident during cargo operations saw over 5,000 tons of bauxite released into the waters of Kangava Bay, Solomon Islands.
A barge on Renell Island was undergoing cargo operations, and was in the process of loading bauxite onto the vessel when for an as-of-yet-unknown reason, the ship capsized spilling thousands of tons of bauxite into the local ecosystem.
According tolocal reports, the bauxite in the water was enough to turn the colour of the bay from its regular green-blue to a deep red.
This incident occurred just as the clean-up efforts for the last spill had finished. Back in March, the grounding of the bulker, Solomon Trader saw the release of over 100 tonnes of heavy fuel oil into the waters of Kangava Bay.
According to Australian conservationist, Chris Bone of Oceanwatch, this marks the third such incident to have occurred over the last few years.
All three vessels are owned by the same company, namely, Bintan Mining Solomon Islands. According to Mr. Bone, the management of the mining operations on the island showcases a level of “absolute incompetence”.
Furthermore, the environmental long-term effects of the previous spill have yet to be determined; with this new second spill, one has to wonder as to the toll that this is taking on the Renell Island ecosystem.
After all, the Kangava Bay is a UNESCO protected heritage site, home to the world’s largest raised coral atoll.