Nautilus Minerals announces that under the terms of its agreement with the nominee of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, the sum of US$113 million, which was placed into escrow in May 2014, shall be released to Nautilus on completion of the agreement, which is scheduled to take place on December 11.

On November 6, 2014, Nautilus announced that it had entered into an agreement with Marine Assets Corporation (MAC) for the charter of a vessel, to be first deployed for use at the Solwara 1 Project. Under the terms of this arrangement, MAC was to sign a contract with Fujian Mawei Shipbuilding Ltd (FMSL) for the design and construction of the vessel and pay the first instalment of the purchase price by no later than November 28, 2014.

At a signing ceremony at the FMSL yard on November 25, 2014, and attended by the Executive Vice Governor of Fujian Province Zhang Zhinang and the Papua New Guinea Ambassador to China, Christopher Mero, MAC and FMSL signed the shipbuilding contract and MAC has subsequently paid FMSL the first instalment.

Completion of the purchase of a 15% interest in the project by the State’s nominee, Eda Kopa (Solwara) Ltd will now proceed in accordance with the agreement. The State Nominee and Nautilus have agreed that completion will occur on December 11, at which time the funds held in escrow will be released to Nautilus and the joint venture between the parties in respect of the project shall be formed. Following completion, a formal celebration will be held and attended by senior State Government Ministers and bureaucrats to mark this significant milestone for the project.

Nautilus’ CEO Mike Johnston says, “We are excited that the shipbuilding contact has been signed for the construction of the vessel and the first instalment paid, which now allows for the release of the State Nominee’s funds from escrow and the formation of the Solwara 1 JV.”

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