Nautilus Minerals to move towards production at its Papua sea mine

April 24 Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:12am EDT

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April 24 (Reuters) - Nautilus Minerals Inc said it had signed an agreement with Papua New Guinea to move towards production at its Solwara 1 underwater copper mining project.

Under the agreement, the government is entitled to a 15 percent stake in the project and has the option to increase this by another 15 percent in the next 12 months.

In October, an arbitrator ruled in favor of the Canadian company in a dispute with Papua New Guinea over the ownership of the Solwara project after a nearly two-year battle.

Nautilus had accused the government of not coming through on its share of financing for the project, while the government had accused Nautilus of not fulfilling some of its obligations.

The Solwara 1 mine is located in the Bismark Sea, which lies in southwestern Pacific Ocean to the north of Papua New Guinea. (Reporting By Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)

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