Mar. 29, 2011 (Marketwire Canada) --
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- Nautilus Minerals Inc. (TSX:NUS)(AIM:NUS) -
The Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) has signed an agreement and exercised its option to take up a 30% stake in Nautilus Minerals' Solwara 1 project in the Bismarck Sea.
Governor General Michael Ogio signed the agreement at a short ceremony attended by Nautilus CEO Stephen Rogers and Petromin Managing Director Joshua Kalinoe in Port Moresby, PNG today.
Nautilus will retain a 70% holding in an unincorporated joint venture to be established with the PNG Government to hold the mining assets of the project. The Government's 30% share of the joint venture will be held in Petromin PNG Holdings Ltd, the Government owned company established to hold the State's mining and petroleum assets.
The Government's initial payment to secure its holding will be approximately US$20-25 million, which represents its share of the exploration and development costs incurred up to the date of grant of the Mining Lease in January 2011. The final amount will be determined through an audit process, with payment to be made by August 1, 2011. In future, Petromin will contribute funds to the project in proportion to its interest.
The Government also has taken a 5% interest in a separate joint venture holding company to be formed with Nautilus to provide services in the form of people and equipment to the project and has made an initial deposit of US$1.8 million as part payment for that interest.
Nautilus CEO Stephen Rogers said the company welcomed the participation of the PNG Government.
"This step represents a major vote of confidence in Nautilus Minerals and the Solwara 1 project. Through its equity partnership, the government will provide a significant capital investment and will retain a direct interest in the long term success of the project. We look forward to working closely with the State and Petromin on Solwara 1, which will generate significant investment for the economies of New Ireland, East New Britain and PNG," he said.
Jan 17, 2011. Nautilus Granted Mining Lease: http://www.nautilusminerals.com/s/Media-NewsReleases.asp?ReportID=437932
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%) and Teck Resources (6.8%), as well as Metalloinvest, one of the largest and fastest growing mining and metallurgical holding companies in Russia, which beneficially owns 21.0% of the Company's issued shares through Gazmetall Holding (Cyprus) Limited.
Certain of the statements made in this news release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities law. Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information include, but are not limited to statements or information with respect to the conclusion of the intentions of the PNG Government. We have made numerous assumptions about the material forward-looking statements and information contained herein, including among other things, that the PNG Government will continue to negotiate with Nautilus and the negotiations will be successfully concluded, that legal clearance from the Office of the State Solicitor will be forthcoming in due course in light of the statements regarding the State's intentions as set out in the letter received by Nautilus from the Minister of Treasury and Finance . Even though our management believes that the assumptions made and the expectations represented by such statements or information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking statement or information will prove to be accurate. Forward-looking statements and information by their nature involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors include, among others, the risk that the PNG Government will not continue to negotiate with Nautilus in good faith or at all and that legal clearance from the Office of the State Solicitor will not be received. Should one or more of these risks, uncertainties or other factors materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in forward-looking statements and information. Although we have attempted to identify factors that would cause actual results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements and information, there may be other factors that cause actual results, performances, achievements or events to not be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Also, many of the factors are beyond our control. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements or information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information. Except as required by law, we do not expect to update forward-looking statements and information as conditions change and you are referred to the full discussion of the Company's business contained in the Company's reports filed with the securities regulatory authorities in Canada.
Neither the TSX nor the London Stock Exchange accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.
Nautilus Minerals Inc. (Toronto)
+1 (416) 551 1100
Nautilus Minerals Inc.
Vice President Investor Relations and Communications
+61 (7) 3318 5544 or Cell: +61 431 365 741
Numis Securities Limited
+ 44(0) 20 7260 1000
Numis Securities Limited
+ 44(0) 20 7260 1000