This signals the formation of the Solara 1 joint venture between Nautilus, the PNG sate nominee Eda Kopa Ltd, and Dubai-based Marine Assets Corporation (MAC). A formal celebration will mark the milestone.
Nautilus CEO Mike Johnston said, ""We are excited that the shipbuilding contract has been signed for the construction of the vessel and the first instalment paid, which now allows for the release of the state nominee's funds from escrow and the formation of the Solwara 1 JV."
"We appreciate the continued support we have received from Eda Kopa … our joint venture partner, in reaching this milestone, and together with them, look forward to working with MAC and the shipyard in seeing the delivery of our first vessel and making seafloor mining a reality."
Johnston also said that Nautilus looks forward to working closely with the state nominee on the project, which will generate significant economic activity within Papua New Guinea, especially in the New Ireland Province.
"Through this joint venture, the state will provide a capital investment and will retain a direct interest in the long-term success of the project.
"We look forward to working closely with the state and Petromin on Solwara , which will generate economic activity within the state and the country's New Ireland Province.