Former Attorney General of Papua New Guinea: The writing is on the wall for Solwara 1 – PNG should withdraw its investment before it’s too late.

Date: January 17, 2018

Source: Deep Sea Mining Campaign
Author: Natalie Lowrey

PAPUA NEW GUINEA | Amid financial strife and looming litigation, Sir Arnold Amet, former Papua New Guinean Attorney General and Minister for Justice advises the PNG Government to terminate its joint partnership agreement with Nautilus, recoup its 15% stake in the Solwara 1 deep sea mining project and decline to renew the licences for Solwara 1.

For Nautilus Minerals a miserable Christmas has just flowed into an unhappy new year. A series of gloomy end of year investor updates confirmed Nautilus is unable to raise the funds necessary to complete equipment for its Solwara 1 deep sea mining project.

Then came the final blow for 2017 – affected communities launched legal proceedings in a bid to obtain key documents that will reveal to them and all Papua New Guineans whether Solwara 1 was approved lawfully and what the true environmental, health and economic impacts of the project will be.

Shortly after, Company Chair Russell Debney resigned. This is in spite of his long association as a board member since the company listed on the stock exchange in 2006 and the chair of the company’s predecessors, Nautilus Minerals Niugini Limited and Nautilus Minerals Oceania Limited.

Due to the high risk nature of the project, financiers have declined to bail the company out, suggesting the efforts of Nautilus’s two largest shareholders have been in vain.  The best they have been able to come up with are bridging loans of USD 7 million to meet immediate needs whilst desperately hunting for another USD 350 million.

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