Subsea mining proponent Nautilus Minerals Inc. has made a breakthrough in its bid to finance its offshore PNG Solwara 1 Project with the signing of agreements on critical bridge loans, while it reports that it is also close to finalising a major funding deal.

The company announced it has arranged to receive bridge loans for up to US$7 million from Deep Sea Mining Finance Ltd and has also entered into a funding mandate agreement with M. Horn & Co. Ltd.

The bridge loans will assist the company’s immediate working capital requirements and facilitate payments required to continue the development of the seafloor production system to be first utilised at the Solwara 1 Project. The loans bear interest at 8% per annum, payable bi-annually in arrears with a one year maturity date.

However, Nautilus still requires significant additional funding in order to complete the build and deployment of the seafloor production system to be utilised at the Solwara 1 Project by the company and its joint venture partner (as to 15%), the Independent State of Papua New Guinea’s nominee.

The bridge loans are expected to form part of a larger secured structured credit facility of up to US$34 million.
An advisor has been appointed as the company’s exclusive financial advisor, for a period of one year, in respect of the remaining project financing of up to US$350 million required to complete the development.