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Nautilus Minerals preps PNG offshore project

Nautilus Minerals preps PNG offshore project

Port Moresby: Mining of deep-sea gold and copper reserves lying in water off the coast of Papua New Guinea (PNG) has moved a step closer with the announcement from US-based Nautilus Minerals Inc that leading dredging contractor Jan De Nul has inked a contract at Spanish yard La Naval, Sestao, for a 191 metre long sea-floor mining vessel to be named Jules Verne. Subject to approval from the PNG Government and no delays in the timetable, Nautilus says it could start commissioning for mining operations on the Solwara 1 Project by the end of 2009.   
    Late last year, Nautilus announced it was raising $100m of equity capital on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in London. The proceeds, together with other capital, would be used as working capital during the permitting process, the company said, prior to production at Solwara 1. Investments in subsea mining equipment, power umbilicals, pumps, an 1800 metre riser pipe and other equipment would be required, the company said, as well as infrastructure ashore.
    The Jules Verne is being funded by Jan De Nul itself under an agreement signed last October in which Jan de Nul will provide contract mining services to Nautilus including shipment of the mined material to ore concentration equipment ashore.  [07/06/07]

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