NAUTILUS Minerals is set to receive US$113 million for the sale of a 15 per cent stake in its Solwara-1 copper-gold project in the Bismarck Sea.

The funds for the stake sale to Eda Kopa, the nominee of the Papua New Guinean Government, had been placed into escrow in May.

Nautilus was to secure for the State’s nominee certain intellectual property rights and the charter of a production support vessel in order for the funds to be released.

The company announced on 6 November that it had entered into an agreement with Marine Assets Corporation (MAC) for the charter of a vessel – which will be built by Fujian Mawei Shipbuilding.

Nautilus chief executive Mike Johnston said the contract for the construction of the vessel had been signed and the first installment paid.

“(This) now allows for the release of the State Nominee’s funds from escrow and the formation of the Solwara 1 JV,” he said.