Mineweb reported that “sensitive negotiations” between Nautilus Minerals (TSX:NUS,LSE:NUS) and its partners on the Solwara 1 underwater copper-gold mining project have wrapped up, with the result being that the deeds for the project have been redrawn to give the government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) the ability to gain 30-percent ownership of its intellectual property rights. The company is involved in a larger dispute with the PNG government and as yet has not received a response regarding the revised deeds.
As quoted in the market news:
By getting rights to the subsea mining technology, the Papua New Guinea government will be allowed to use the same methods as Nautilus intends to employ at Solwara 1 on its own non-Nautilus projects. This fact raised the question of whether Papua New Guinea could then go and license the technology to potential competitors (assuming Papua New Guinea consents to the new deeds).
In response, Johnston said, the terms of the renegotiated deeds required approval from Nautilus and its partners were such a situation to arise. Further, Johnston noted that as part of the redrawn deeds, were the Papua New Guinea government to employ the technology on its own or through an approved partner Nautilus would get royalty payments from any other mining project.