Nautilus Minerals advises that a hearing in respect of the issues that are the subject of the Notice of Arbitration, issued by the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, has been completed. The parties now await the decision of the arbitrator, the Honourable Murray Gleeson AC QC.

“It is still Nautilus’ preference to resolve the dispute with the State by agreement and with that aim Nautilus continues to engage with the State in an effort to resolve matters amicably,” says Nautilus’ interim CEO Mike Johnston.

The company will issue a further announcement upon receipt of the decision of the arbitrator or upon resolution of the dispute by agreement.

Nautilus is the first company to explore the ocean floor for polymetallic seafloor massive sulphide deposits. Nautilus was granted the first mining lease for such deposits at the prospect known as Solwara 1, in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea, where it is aiming to produce copper, gold and silver. The company has also been granted its environmental permit for this site.

Nautilus also holds about 500,000sqkm of highly prospective exploration acreage in the western Pacific - in PNG, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga - as well as in international waters in the eastern Pacific.

Its major shareholders include MB Holding Company LLC, an Oman-based group with interests in mining, oil & gas, which holds a 28.00% interest, Metalloinvest, the largest iron ore producer in Europe and the CIS, which has a 20.75% holding, and global mining group Anglo American, which holds 5.95%.