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Nautilus holding talks with PNG government

Staff Reporter | 12:56 AM | |
NAUTILUS Minerals is holding discussions with concerned Government officials in a bid to push the Solwara 1 project, country manager Mel Togolo said.
Earlier, Mining Minister Byron Chan said that due to current legal matters that needed to be addressed, the project would be delayed. 
However, yesterday, Togolo said the ongoing negotiations between the miner and concerned Government officials seemed to be working well.
“I don’t think it has so much to do with the delay. We are having very positive discussions with the Government officials involved to move the project forward and those discussions are continuing. 
“We want to work with the Government to ensure that the project moves forward,” Togolo said. 
He said Nautilus could also face cost effects should there be any delays in the project implementation. 
“When there are delays in projects, not only in mining but also in other projects, there is always cost implications.
“That is the risk that any delay would impose in a project. That’s a general statement to all projects,” he added. 
Meanwhile, Togolo told The National the Government had shown positive response to meet its 30% equity in time so that the project would not be delayed any further. 
“The Government has elected to exercise its option to take up 30% and I think that is a commitment that the Government has made.
 “I think the Government is very serious about its commitment and when the time is right, it would be able to fulfil that (commitment),” Togolo said.
Nautilus Minerals was the first company to explore the ocean floor for polymetallic  seafloor massive sulphide deposits. 
The company was granted first mining lease for such deposits at the prospect known as Solwara 1 in Bismarck Sea where it will extract copper, gold and silver. 
The Canadian company was granted environmental permit for this site with license granted under the previous government.