MAC: Mines and Communities

Nautilus gets more licences

Published by MAC on 2007-07-19

Nautilus gets more licences

Post-Courier Online -

19th July 2007

DEEPSEA miner Nautilus Minerals Inc exploration activity in Papua New Guinea is set to increase after it has been granted eleven new exploration licences (EL) covering an area of 21,386 square kilometres.

The underwater exploration company's EL 1374 licence has been renewed upon advice from the Mineral Resources Authority.

Nautilus chief executive officer David Heydon said the area of exploration under its current licences or under application in PNG was larger than Greece, adding it symbolised the status of the company in the world as the leading exploration company.

"The grant of the first of our 81 exploration licence applications made in late 2006 ensures that we maintain a pipeline of acreage to explore so we can build on the phenomenal exploration discovery rate we achieved earlier this year when we found four (Solwara 5,6,7 and 8) new high grade sulphide mineralisation systems over a four week period," Mr Heydon said.

"Eight of the licences granted are subject to an agreement with Teck Cominco ("Teck"). As part of this agreement Teck has seconded certain personnel to Nautilus to assist the company with its US$20 million (K61,919,504) exploration program. Teck has also agreed to fund up to US$2 million (K6,191,950) of tenement/licence fees and rentals along with $US10 million (K30.8 million) of exploration, research and development and the development of specialised technical equipment to further improve the cost of discovery of these seafloor massive sulphide systems," he added.

Nautilus has among its largest shareholders four of the world's largest international resource companies, including Anglo American (6.4 per cent), Teck Cominco (5.8 per cent), Epion (16.8 per cent) and Barrick Gold (3.7per cent).

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