PNG GRANTS FIRST UNDERSEA MINING LICENSE

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Canadian company Nautilus see riches in deep

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Jan. 18, 2011) – 19 hours 5 minutes ago

The Papua New Guinea government has given the green light for the what is hoped to be world's first sea floor mining venture.

It has granted a 20-year mining lease to Canadian company, Nautilus Minerals, to mine gold and copper in a 59 square kilometre section of the Bismarck Sea.

The Solwarra one site, as it is known, is off the coast of New Ireland province and about 50 kilometres north of Rabaul.

[PIR editor’s note: Nautilus CEO Stephen Rogers said the company hopes to mine about 80,000 tons of copper and up to 200,000 ounces of gold per year from the sea floor. The PNG government is expected to put up 30 percent costs, about a $25 million investment in the untried venture, he said.]

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