TORONTO, ONTARIO, Sep. 11, 2009 (Marketwire) -- Nautilus Minerals Inc. (TSX:NUS)(AIM:NUS) (the "Company" or "Nautilus") is pleased to announce that the Department of Environment and Conservation ("DEC") of Papua New Guinea ("PNG") has granted "Approval in Principle" of the Solwara 1 Project Environmental Permit.
Signed yesterday by the Hon. Benny Allen MP, Minister for Environment and Conservation, the "Approval in Principle" signals the completion of rigorous internal and independent external reviews of the proposed development by the DEC.
Steve Rogers, Nautilus' CEO, commented: "This is a major milestone for both the Solwara 1 development and the seafloor resource production industry as a whole. The approval is testament to the positive environmental and social aspects of seafloor mineral production, as well as to the project design. Timing of the approval process has met our expectations to date. We are looking forward to working with the PNG Government to deliver this project."
Working with the appropriate government departments and agencies, the next steps for Nautilus are to negotiate the Development Agreement required for the grant of the Mining Lease and prepare the draft project Environmental Management Plan.
The Solwara 1 project represents positive step changes in the environmental and social aspects of copper extraction. With the high copper grades of seafloor massive sulphide ("SMS") systems and minimal overburden, very little waste will be produced. The proposed extraction area is only 0.11 square kilometres representing a small footprint on the earth's surface. More importantly, there is no displacement of people from the mine site and there will be minimal impact on other resource utilisation options as a result of the development.
The Solwara 1 production system is designed to eliminate impact to the surface and mid-layers of the ocean (other than the presence of a vessel and barges). Nautilus will implement robust operational measures to minimise impact to the seafloor environment and enhance the time for recovery of the site when operations are complete.
For more information on Nautilus Minerals in PNG, please visit: www.cares.nautilusminerals.com/papuacountryprofile.aspx.
About Nautilus Minerals Inc.
Nautilus is the first company to commercially explore the ocean floor for polymetallic seafloor massive sulphide deposits and is currently developing its first project. The Company's main focus is the Solwara 1 Project, which is located in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea in the western Pacific Ocean. Nautilus is listed on the TSX and AIM stock exchanges, and has among its largest shareholders two of the world's leading international resource companies Anglo American (11.1%), Teck Resources (6.8%) and Metalloinvest, one of the largest and fastest growing mining and metallurgical holding companies in Russia, beneficially owns 21.0% of its shares through Gazmetall Holding (Cyprus) Limited.
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