SUBSEA mining proponent Nautilus Minerals Inc. has reported that one of the key components for mining its Solwara 1 project offshore PNG achieved a major milestone recently.

The project’s Production Support Vessel (PSV) was floated in a Chinese dry dock recently. The PSV is to be used by Nautilus and its PNG partner, Eda Kopa (Solwara) Limited, as the base for its seafloor operations planned at the Solwara 1 Project site, in the Bismarck Sea.

“The company was very excited to see the PSV floated in the dry dock last week, as it shows the fantastic progress the team at the Fujian Mawei Shipyard Ltd (FMSL) and Marine Assets Corporate (MAC) have made over the past three months,” Nautilus’ CEO, Mike Johnston, said.

“When you consider the first block for the PSV was laid on the 10th of June this year, to having a 220 metre hull able to be floated some 14 weeks later, it is a huge achievement by FMSL and a significant milestone for our company.

“We have worked with FMSL, MAC and others on the PSV for over two years now.

During this time we have established a very good working relationship, with very capable stakeholders. We are now looking forward to continuing that strong working relationship as we progress the final build phase and fit out of the vessel,” Mr Johnston said.

Subject to further financing, Nautilus’ objective remains to develop the world’s first commercial high grade seafloor copper-gold mine and launch the seafloor resource production industry.

EGM votes positive

On the funding front, Nautilus Minerals overcome one hurdle in late October when shareholders voted in favour of a bridging financing package at an Extraordinary General Meeting  (EGM) held in Vancouver, BC.

Eligible shareholders voted in favour of the bridge financing to be provided by the Company’s two largest shareholders by way of a private placement – as reported in Issue 3, 2016 of PNG Resources.

“I would like to thank our shareholders for approving this bridge financing and our two major shareholders for providing the funds for this arrangement. We appreciate your continued support for our company as we look towards developing the seafloor mining industry,” Mr Johnston said.

The gross proceeds available under the Subscription Agreement will provide the bridge financing necessary to enable the company to continue operating and to carry on the Solwara 1 Project while it continues to explore additional financing, joint ventures or other transactions that provide the funding required in order to complete the development of the offshore PNG project.