Chan targets Nautilus

MINING Minister Byron Chan will reportedly review the environmental impact statement of the Solwara 1 project offshore PNG despite Nautilus Minerals already having a 20-year mining lease on the pioneering project.
Chan targets Nautilus Chan targets Nautilus Chan targets Nautilus Chan targets Nautilus Chan targets Nautilus

Chan has previously signalled he would like customary landowner groups to own all resources six feet below PNG's land and sea.

While Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has since warned his ministers not to scare off foreign investors, Chan's new focus is to "fast-track" work on the new Seabed Mining Act, according to The National.

A Central New Ireland landowner leader, Isidore Kamen, told the newspaper that without the act, the "development aspirations" of those in affected areas were not guaranteed to be met by government or developers of deep sea projects.

Kamen reportedly said Chan was the right man for the job.

According to the newspaper, Chan has also been "called on to review" the EIS of the Solwara 1 project.

Nautilus is making progress towards the construction of innovative seafloor mining equipment.

Initial seafloor mining at Solwara 1 in the Bismarck Sea is designed to hit a production rate of 1.2 million tonnes per annum of dry ore delivered to Rabaul Port, with a ramp-up option to hit 1.8Mtpa.

First ore is expected 30 months after the project gets the final go-ahead.

The Solwara-1 project hosts an indicated resource of 870,000t with copper of 6.8%, gold at 4.8 grams per tonne and silver at 23gpt.

There is also an inferred resource of 1.3Mt at 7.5% copper, 7.2gpt gold and 37gpt silver.

The copper resources were calculated using a 4% copper cut-off.

Nautilus won its mining licence in January under the Somare government.


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