Solwara 1

Countdown begins for Nautilus

The company has been struggling for some time as it seeks to force through the first experimental deep sea mining project, Solwara 1, off the coast of Papua New Guinea, despite concerted opposition.

Environmental advocates say Nautilus has been receiving bridging loans from its two main shareholders, Russian mining company Metalloinvest and Omani conglomerate MB Holding.

These loans are due for repayment on the 8th of January.

Nautilus granted new exploration licence

The company announced on Thursday (Feb 8th) that the Government granted to Nautilus EL2537, which covers 2,558 km2, including the same prospective geology that hosts the Solwara 1 deposit.

The company says the area was selected based on reconnaissance sampling and survey completed in 2017 and acknowledged the assistance in this area by the PNG Geological Survey.

Nautilus CEO, Mike Johnston, said: “The granting of this Exploration Licence is excellent news.

Landowners remain unimpressed with Nautilus

Coastal communities across the Bismarck Sea under the umbrella of the Alliance of Solwara Warriors claim that Nautilus and the PNG Government do not have their consent to go ahead with experimental seabed mining in the Bismarck Sea.

"Who are these leaders from New Ireland Province that Nautilus has handpicked?" said Jonathan Mesulam of the Alliance of Solwara Warriors.

“I am from the West Coast of New Ireland Province and I hear my people's concerns. Landowners on the west coast of New Ireland Province live only 25km from the Solwara 1 seabed mining site.

World class platform for Solwara 1

This is from Nautilus Chief Executive Officer, Mike Johnston.

The PSV is to be used by Nautilus and its PNG partner, Eda Kopa (Solwara) Limited, for its seafloor operations planned at the Solwara 1 Project site.

Johnston said “Nautilus’ objective remains to develop the world's first commercial high grade seafloor copper-gold mine and launch the seafloor resource production industry.”

Dead sea creatures causing awful smell in Namatanai

Naomi Watong, a local woman from Konos village in the Central New Ireland district of Namatanai told Loop PNG that the sea creatures have been dying since Saturday April 9, 2016 at around 12 midday  until  now (April 13).

She said the villagers found out about the dead fishes when alerted by children who went out for a swim on that day.

“We went and got the fish and other creatures like octopus and shells but the sea was very hot. The dead sea creatures were also very hot,” she told Loop PNG via mobile phone.