Authority ‘rules-out’ Solwara 1 project
The Mineral Resources Authority has ruled out any chance of revisiting the failed Solwara 1 project which the Government had invested a lot of money in.
Managing director Jerry Garry said seafloor production tools delivered to the country for the projects three years ago were “scattered” around the country.
The seafloor production tools comprise an auxiliary cutter, bulk cutter and collecting machine, a riser and lifting system, and a production support vessel.
Garry said the production support vessel was still in China.
He said there was “nil possibility” of getting the copper and gold project off the ground.
Earlier this year, Garry said that the State had invested a lot of money in the project and was still paying off the debt.
“The State had US$120 million (K408.8mil) in it and we will probably write it off as debt,” he said.
“That was a risky investment, technology has never been tried and tested. Very difficult project.”
The company had planned to extract high grade seafloor massive sulphide deposits of copper, gold, zinc and silver in 1,600-metre-deep water.
Nautilus was granted the world’s first exploration licence for deep sea mineral resources in 1997.
It was granted its first mining lease and environment permit in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
The Solwara 1 project is located in the Bismarck Sea, 30 kilometres from the coast of New Ireland.