The National, Friday April 25th, 2014
By GYNNIE KERO
THE Government has bought a 15% share in the Solwara One project for K327.6 million (US$120 million).
The transaction was finalised yesterday in Port Moresby during the signing of an agreement between Bank South Pacific and Petromin PNG Holdings Limited.
The Solwara 1 project involves Canadian company Nautilus, which will mine the sea floor in the Bismark Sea for copper, gold and silver. It will be the first deep sea mining project in the world.
The Government had earlier been interested in a 30% share in the project but this was later reduced to 15%.
Treasury Department deputy secretary Anthony Yauieb said yesterday the Government decided to reduce its share in the project earlier the year.
A spokesman from the Prime Minister’s office last night said PM Peter O’Neill would comment later on the matter.
The signing ceremony marked the execution for various transactions associated with Petromin, BSP and Nautilus’ participation in the Solwara project.
BSP undertook the structuring, documentation and funding on a bilateral basis for the State and Petromin.
BSP chief executive Robin Fleming and Petromin chief executive Arun Basu said the two companies were happy to be involved in the landmark transaction and would continue to provide solutions to the mining, oil and gas sectors.
BSP corporate banking general manager Peter Beswick said the bank had “capabilities and financial solutions for local and international companies operating in PNG”.