Nautilus Minerals Inc explores funding options

Nautilus Minerals Inc is still exploring financing opportunities in order to maintain the development of the Solwara One project and the company’s operations.

According to the firm’s market report released last Tuesday, the Canadian miner stated it requires a significant and additional funding, in order to complete the build and deployment of the seafloor production system (SPT) to be utilised for the project.

“Based on the it’s current cash position and budget, the company needs to obtain new funding of approximately K131.2 million (US$41 million), before the end of 2017 and.

And in particular, at least approximately K48 million (US$15 million) is required before October 31, 2017 to meet the company’s contractual commitments in relation to certain of the equipment forming part of the seafloor production system.

“The company is in active discussions with various parties, including existing shareholders, regarding potential financing transactions and alternatives.

The firm further stated that failure to secure the necessary financing may result in it engaging specialist advisors.

It aims in taking various steps aimed at maximising shareholder value such as undertaking various transactions including, without limitation, asset sales, joint ventures and capital restructurings.

Given that there will be minimal spin-off benefits to landowners as a result of the world’s first deep sea mine, the developer says it will heavily focus on its community service obligation.

The issue of benefits has been one of the main concerns of the leaders of both New Ireland and East New Britain who were in Port Moresby last week to witness the trials being conducted on the Nautilus Minerals Inc’s mining equipment.

For the ENB delegation the issue had been raised by Florence Paisparea who is the forest and environmental coordinator of the ENB provincial administration.

Nautilus Minerals Inc vice president for the Papua New Guinea operations, Adam Wright said unlike the traditional land-based mines, the foot print of the Solwara One project, would be quite small and likewise the benefits.

Wright said employment would be limited as the firm will be employing about 200 people compared to Newcrest Lihir’s 3000.

He said other spin-off business would also be limited as its operations would be out at sea and there would not need services including buses, security and laundry services all associated with the land-based mines.

 Wright said it had already begun implementing this project especially in the coastal areas along the West Coast of New Ireland in the coastal areas of benefits (CAB) ahead of production.

Wright told the leaders from ENB the firm would be delivering its first project-a community health post on Wotum Island by the year’s end.

He said apart from health, education, infrastructure development, and business development would be other focus areas.

“What we want to do is help generate businesses that will still be going once we are gone. We are looking at areas of cocoa and copra and trying to help people rehabilitate plantations and get those industries running.

Royalty was stated as another benefit, which Wright said would be paid when the company begins production.

He said from discussions held, the intention is to have that distributed down to the local level government level.

Wright said there is already a draft agreement, which once finalised would be signed off.

He added that this is the agreement that will address all these issues.

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