Talks on deep-sea mining plan MoA

Business, Normal

The National, Wednesday October 16th, 2013

 STAKEHOLDERS in the Solwara 1 deep sea mining project have restarted discussions on the project’s memorandum of agreement (MoA).

This came more than a year after the project was embroiled in an arbitration process between the State and Nautilus with respect to their financing obligations as joint venture partners. 

These issues has been resolved.

The stakeholders comprising the State, New Ireland provincial government (NIPG), Nautilus Minerals Inc and the East New Britain provincial government (ENBPG), met last week in Kavieng to discuss the MoA.

The Mineral Resources Authority’s (MRA) acting executive manager for the development coordination division and senior member of the state team Sean Ngansia said the parties were committed to executing this MoA before the end of the year.

He described last week’s meeting as being successful as issues were progressed well despite some disagreements.

Among other issues taken up were royalty distribution between the NIPG and the ENBPG, business development plan and employment and training.

It was agreed that the NIPG would table to its provincial executive council (PEC) the Government-proposed royalty sharing of 40-60% between East New Britain and New Ireland. 

The New Ireland position on this would be tabled in the next MoA meeting.

The stakeholders agreed that Nautilus would provide a business development plan to the Department of Commerce and Industry.

Nautilus would submit an employment and training plan to the Department of Labour and Industry.