Seabed mining project in PNG moves to sell assets

11:28 am on 26 February 2019

A troubled deep sea mining project in Papua New Guinea is selling its assets while it fends off creditors.

Mining for copper under the sea

Mining for copper under the sea Photo: Nautilus Minerals

Nautilus Minerals was to mine the sea floor between New Ireland and New Britain but has run into financial trouble and local landowner opposition.

Last week, the company obtained a court order from the Supreme Court of British Columbia protecting it from its creditors.

Nautilus said the protection will enable it to "restructure its business and financial affairs".

One of its lenders, Deep Sea Mining Finance, has agreed to loan it a further $US4 million. To date, Nautilus has been loaned $US18 million by the financier.

But the company is also being advertised for sale, including its Solwara 1 project in PNG. PwC are acting as solicitors.

If sold, investors would also have access to its mining licenses elsewhere in PNG and in Tonga.

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