SPC Geoscience Division

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Papua New Guinea

Newsflash

For the first time a major step forward in the development of seabed mining is now in place with the granting of the mining lease to Nautilus Minerals for the development of the Solwara 1 project in the Bismarck Sea in Papua New Guinea.

The mine operation, located 30 kilometres from the coast of New Ireland and at a depth of 1600 metres, is expected to begin by the end of 2013 with the mining of ‘high grade’ Seafloor Massive Sulphide deposits that contain copper, gold, silver, zinc and lead.

While the project is unique as the world’s first seabed mine, the lease arrangements themselves are a reflection of the evolving legislative and regulatory process in Papua New Guinea since the 1970’s.