The shares of Nautilus Minerals Inc (TSX & AIM: NUS) took and understandable leap on the stock markets as the company gained approval for its Solwara 1 undersea mining project in the Bismarck Sea from Papua New Guinea government.
The company hopes to mine high grade copper and goal from sea floor deposits at depths of 1 to 600 meters. The 20 year lease will give Nautilus Mining access to a 59 km area around Solwara 1. It is being seen as a historic mining lease which represents a huge milestone for the company by the Chief Executive Officer Stephen Rogers.
Nautilus Minerals is now hoping to conclude negotiations with a strategic partner to help fund the development of Solwara 1. The company is currently in talks with two potential partners according to Stephen Rogers and hopes to have the funds ready soon. The Toronto based company already has the Papua New Guinea government as a 30% stake holder in the Solwara 1 joint venture.
The $380 million project hopes to mine from the deposit which has a stated resource of 2.2 million tonnes of ore. This includes an indicated resource of 870,000 tonnes at grades of 6.8 % copper and 4.8 % gold. The production is expected to begin 2 and half years after full project sanction.