SEABED MINING PROJECT IN PNG SECURES FUNDING
The Canadian company looking to mine Papua New Guinea’s seabed says it has secured finance to develop the controversial Solwara 1 Project.
According to Nautilus Minerals, it has reached a US$34 million credit facility agreement for the project with lender Deep Sea Mining Finance.
The Solwara 1 project would involve the extensive dredging the seafloor of PNG’s Bismarck Sea between the major islands of New Ireland and New Britain.
The future of the project appeared in doubt in recent months due to the withdrawal of investors and signs that Nautilus was struggling for finance to advance Solwara 1.
There has also been strong opposition among local communities to the project, which would be the first of its kind.
According to the newspaper The National PNG’s Conservation and Environment Protection Authority said Nautilus had satisfied most of the requirements of the Environment Act, to be able to proceed with mining.
Meanwhile, the new loan has been secured against Nautilus assets through a general security agreement as well as a pledge in the shares of PNG subsidiary Nautilus Minerals Niugini.