Nautilus now has $155 million kitty and all its green permits for undersea mine

Nautilus, the first company to explore the ocean floor for polymetallic seafloor massive sulphide deposits, announced on Friday it has completed the quarter with a cash balance of $155.1 million, after successfully raising $70.5 million in the first tranche of a $98.1 million capital raising. The final tranche of C$27.6 million was received in October. The capital raising involved the issue of approximately 39 million shares at C$2.52 per share.

Nautilus is developing its first project at Solwara 1, in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea, where it is aiming to produce gold, copper and silver. The company has been granted all necessary environmental and mining permits. Nautilus also holds approximately 600,000 square kilometers of highly prospective exploration acreage in the western Pacific, in PNG, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga, as well as in international waters in the eastern Pacific.

 

Press Release:

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – Nov. 11, 2011) – Nautilus Minerals Inc. (TSX:NUS)(AIM:NUS) continued to make steady progress in the development of its pioneering seafloor copper/gold project in the September quarter of 2011, and remains on track to commence production in the final quarter of 2013.

The company completed the quarter with a cash balance of US$155.1 million, after successfully raising C$70.5 million in the first tranche of a C$98.1 million capital raising. The final tranche of C$27.6 million was received in October. The capital raising involved the issue of approximately 39 million shares at C$2.52 per share.

The company completed the quarter with a cash balance of US$155.1 million, after successfully raising C$70.5 million in the first tranche of a C$98.1 million capital raising. The final tranche of C$27.6 million was received in October. The capital raising involved the issue of approximately 39 million shares at C$2.52 per share.

The funds raised are being used for the construction of a seafloor resource production system, which initially will be deployed at the Solwara 1 project in the Bismarck Sea of Papua New Guinea – the company’s first deepwater copper and gold project.

As a result of the successful financing, the Board of Nautilus formally sanctioned the Solwara 1 project.

During the quarter, we continued to work with the PNG Government and Petromin, to finalise contracts and financing arrangements for its 30% holding in the Solwara 1 project.

Project development gathered pace during the quarter, leading to an increase in investment. Net cash invested for the nine months to the end of September totaled US$56.6 million, compared with US$36.4 million at the end of June, with the increase mainly due to purchase of plant and equipment. The loss for the period was US$11.4 million, reflecting the fact that that the company remains in the development phase, and has not yet commenced revenue-generating operations.

During the quarter, the following project milestones were achieved:

  • A number of component procurement packages for the riser and associated handling equipment have been awarded, including the main riser system.
  • All major long lead items for the vessel and the seafloor production tools are now being ordered.
  • Factory acceptance testing was undertaken for sub-sea motors, and since September, factory acceptance testing of the main cutting drum for the Bulk Cutter has been completed. The Bulk Cutter is one of three production machines to be utilized on the seafloor.
  • Scale testing of various key components of the production system, including the sub-sea slurry lift pump and the suction device to be used on the seafloor production machines, was successfully concluded.
  • Design of the PSV continued in Germany, with model testing completed. Nautilus has agreed to form a joint venture with Harren & Partner to own and operate the PSV, which will serve as the operational base at Solwara 1. The laying of the keel for the vessel is scheduled for late December, 2011, with vessel delivery scheduled for the first quarter of 2013.

In exploration, Nautilus continued to analyse the results of its Bismarck Sea drilling campaign completed in May, with a view to updating the company’s NI43-101 resource through an independent report in preparation by Golder and Associates by year end. The drill program is expected to lead to a significantly enhanced understanding of Solwara 1 geology.

During the quarter, the company also became one of the first private sector organisations to be granted exploration licences in international waters. Nautilus’ Tongan subsidiary, Tonga Offshore Mining Ltd, was granted approximately 75,000 km2 of prime exploration territory in the Clarion Clipperton Zone, which lies in international waters between Hawaii and Mexico. As a result of exploration conducted in the 1980s and 90’s, the CCZ is known to host significant quantities of polymetallic nodules, containing copper, nickel, manganese and cobalt, lying on the seafloor in water depths starting at 4500 metres.

In addition, in August, Nautilus was granted 14 special prospecting licences in Fijian territorial waters, covering approximately 60,000 km2. Nautilus is the first private sector organisation to be granted offshore exploration permits for deep sea minerals in Fiji.

“The September quarter saw further solid progress in the development of the world’s first seafloor resource production project at Solwara 1,” said Nautilus CEO Steve Rogers.

“Construction of key components is now advancing rapidly, and our seafloor production equipment is beginning to take shape. We are on track to meet our schedules, and our financial position remains secure following the capital raising in the quarter.

“Our exploration team continues to gather important information to assist us in building our project pipeline.” he said.

Links

The Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis have been filed on www.sedar.com and are also available on the Company’s website www.nautilusminerals.com/s/Investors-Financials.asp.

About Nautilus Minerals Inc.

Nautilus is the first company to explore the ocean floor for polymetallic seafloor massive sulphide deposits and is developing its first project at Solwara 1, in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea, where it is aiming to produce gold, copper and silver. The company has been granted all necessary environmental and mining permits.

Nautilus also holds approximately 600,000 square kilometers of highly prospective exploration acreage in the western Pacific, in PNG, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga, as well as in international waters in the eastern Pacific.

A Canadian registered company, Nautilus is listed on the TSX and AIM stock exchanges and has its corporate office in Brisbane, Australia. Its major shareholders include Metalloinvest, the largest commercial iron ore producer in Europe and the CIS, which has a 21% holding, and global mining group Anglo American, which holds an 11% interest.

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