Nautilus Minerals has agreed to extend by six months the exercise date of the options granted to its joint venture partner in the Solwara 1 project. The partner is the nominee of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, Eda Kopa (Solwara) Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Petromin PNG Holdings Limited.

On December 11, 2014, Nautilus and Eda Kopa formed a joint venture in respect of Solwara 1. Under the terms of that JV, the state nominee took an initial 15% interest which is fully funded, with the option to take up to a further 15% interest within 12 months upon paying certain amounts pursuant to a formula described in the agreement.

The option was exercisable in three 5% lots within 6, 9 and 12 months respectively from the date the joint venture was formed. If the state nominee does not exercise any of the 5% options within the relevant time period then that option and any subsequent options are deemed to have lapsed.

To facilitate further discussion between Nautilus and the state nominee, the company has agreed to extend the exercise date of the three 5% options by six months respectively.

Nautilus is the first company to explore the ocean floor for polymetallic seafloor massive sulphide deposits. Nautilus was granted the first mining lease for such deposits at the prospect known as Solwara 1, in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea, where it is aiming to produce copper, gold and silver. The company has also been granted its environmental permit for this site.