16 Nov 2012

Nautilus hopeful PNG seabed mining project will succeed

8:33 am on 16 November 2012

Nautilus Minerals says it remains hopeful that its Solwara 1 deep sea mining project planned for Papua New Guinea's Bismarck Sea can be completed.

Nautilus has halted construction of the project, which is over half complete, amid a dispute with the government over costs the company says the government is obliged to meet for the project.

However, the government says Nautilus hasn't addressed its concerns about core issues relating to the project including the potential environmental impact.

Nautilus' interim CEO Mike Johnston says the company has provided extensive scientific assessments which show its project will have only a small footprint.

He hopes that the dispute can be solved soon.

"When we were spending two or three million dollars a week, that was putting enormous pressure on us. So that's why I made the decision to terminate the build of the equipment and give us the option to talk sensibly to those elements of government that perhaps don't understand the project as well as perhaps they should."