Underwater mining hopeful Nautilus Minerals (CN:NUS) says the submerged trials of its seafloor production tools were successful, less than a week after announcing it had secured critical bridging financing from its largest shareholders.
The company said last week it had received bridge loans totalling US$4.75 million and expected further loans to form part of a larger secured structured credit facility of up to US$34 million, and was also working with M. Horn & Co on remaining project financing of up to $350 million.
"The overarching objective of the trial was to ensure that all three machines met the requirements of their respective functional design specifications in submerged conditions," CEO Mike Johnston said yesterday.
"Results indicate that they do."
The company plans to complete a full report on the trials by the end of the quarter and said it was preparing the equipment for shipment to China to be integrated onto the vessel.
Nautilus recently embarked on a board renewal process to support the financing and delivery of a deep sea mine at its Solwara 1 copper-gold-silver deposit off PNG.
It was granted two new exploration licences by PNG last week and said it would test the area, subject to receiving additional funding under the bridge loans and potential credit facility transaction.
Shares in the company rose 8.3% yesterday to C19.5c, representing a 25.8% gain year-to-date.