The sum of US$113 million has been released from escrow to Nautilus Minerals which has resulted in formation of the joint venture between Nautilus and the nominee of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea in respect of the Solwara 1 project. The nominee is Eda Kopa (Solwara) Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Petromin PNG Holdings Ltd.
Under the terms of the agreement between the parties, Eda Kopa has now fully funded its 15% interest in the Solwara 1 project up to first production.
Nautilus’ CEO Mike Johnston Nautilus’ says, “We are excited to have achieved completion under our agreement and to formally commence our partnership in the Solwara 1 project with the State’s nominee, Eda Kopa (Solwara). We appreciate the continued support we have received from the State nominee in reaching this significant milestone.”
The focus of the project will now be to complete the build of the seafloor production equipment and vessel so that Nautilus can make seafloor mining a reality. Nautilus is excited to partner with the State nominee in the development of this new industry, which will generate significant economic activity within the State and the Province of New Ireland.
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 approximately 450,000sqkm 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.