First ever underwater lease granted to Nautilus

Well this can’t be good

The government of Papua New Guinea has granted the world’s first deep sea mining lease to Nautilus Minerals of Toronto for the development of its Solwara 1 project in the Bismarck Sea.

The lease covers an area of approximately 59 km2 surrounding Solwara 1, 50 km north of Rabaul, where the company intends to mine high-grade copper and gold deposits on the seafloor, at depths of approximately 1,600 metres.

The mining lease has been granted for an initial 20 year term and the PNG government has retained an option to take up to a 30% stake in the project as a joint venture partner. The option is exercisable within one month. If the option is exercised, the government will contribute funds to the project in proportion to its interest, including its share of the exploration and development costs incurred to date.

via Canadian Mining Journal – MINING LEASE: First ever underwater lease granted to Nautilus.

Dr. M (1729 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

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