Nautilus fixes court date

ARBITRATION proceedings between the Papua New Guinea government and deep-sea explorer Nautilus Minerals are continuing, with the hearing set for August 26 in Sydney.
Nautilus fixes court date Nautilus fixes court date Nautilus fixes court date Nautilus fixes court date Nautilus fixes court date

Nautilus said 10 days were set aside from that date to conclude the hearing.

"Despite the date of the hearing having been fixed, Nautilus will continue to engage with the State in an effort to resolve matters amicably," the Toronto-listed explorer said.

The PNG government is a 30% stakeholder of Nautilus' Solwara 1 copper-gold project in the Bismarck Sea, but is behind in making payments, according to the explorer.

In an update in March, Nautilus chief executive officer Michael Johnson said the government had not contributed to any of the project development costs since the JV was finalised in March 2011 - with more than $US80 million owed at the time.

Johnson's predecessor left during the resulting cash burn which eventually forced the Toronto-listed explorer to cut jobs and put its Solwara project on ice in November, with devastating impacts on its share price.

Nautilus is raising $C40 million of new funds through a rights offering to restart construction of its pioneering seafloor production system.

Last year the commissioning of the equipment for Solwara-1, the world-first seafloor copper-gold mine, was expected in late 2013.

It was targeting an initial mining rate of 1.2-1.3 million tonnes per annum of dry ore to produce about 80,000tpa of copper and 150,000 ounces per annum of gold.

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