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| ||August 15, 2011|
Nautilus Reports Solid First Half Results
| ||Vancouver, British Columbia, August 15, 2011 -- Nautilus Minerals Inc achieved a series of important operational milestones in its pioneering seafloor production project during the first six months of 2011, and ended the period with a healthy cash balance of US$112 million.|
The highlights of the half-year were as follows:
Since the end of the first half, the company has also announced two major advances in exploration.
- In January, the PNG Government granted Nautilus a Mining Lease to enable production at the company's first development project at Solwara 1, in the Bismarck Sea. The lease provides Nautilus with a 20 year license to mine an area of approximately 59 km2 surrounding Solwara 1, 50 km north of Rabaul, where Nautilus intends to mine high-grade copper and gold deposits on the seafloor, at depths of approximately 1600 metres. (For the full release see Links section below)
- In March, the PNG Government confirmed its intention to take a 30% stake in the Solwara 1 project as a joint venture partner. The Government will contribute funds to the project in proportion to its interest, including its share of the exploration and development costs incurred to date. The initial contribution to be made by the Government's nominee, Petromin PNG Holdings Limited, will be approximately US$24 million. The audit of the final amount has recently been completed with payment to be made in accordance with detailed project agreements being finalised by the parties.
- In April, the company announced an agreement to form a joint venture with German shipping company Harren & Partner, to own and operate a production support vessel which will serve as the operational base for Nautilus at Solwara 1. Under the terms of the strategic partnership, Harren will design and construct the vessel at a cost of approximately EUR127 million, with delivery scheduled for the first half of 2013.
- And in May, the company completed a major exploration drilling campaign in the Bismarck Sea, which has delivered an enhanced understanding of the Solwara 1 deposit and identified potential subsequent development sites.
Following the continued extensive investment in the development phase of the Solwara 1 project during the six months to June, the company today announced a first half loss of US$7.98 million, which was significantly reduced from US$18.75 million in the six months to June 2010.
- Nautilus Minerals' Tongan subsidiary, Tonga Offshore Mining Ltd. (TOML), became one of the first private sector organisations to be granted exploration licences in the highly prospective Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ) of the Eastern Pacific in July. Sponsored by the Tongan Government, TOML was granted approximately 75,000 km2 of prime exploration territory in the CCZ, which lies in international waters between Hawaii and Mexico. As a result of exploration conducted in the 1980s, the CCZ is known to host hundreds of millions of tonnes of polymetallic nodules, rich in copper, nickel, manganese and cobalt, lying on the seafloor in water depths starting at 4500 metres.
- The Fijian government this month granted Nautilus 14 special prospecting licences in its territorial waters, covering a total of approximately 60,000 km2 of highly prospective territory. Nautilus is the first private sector organisation to be granted offshore exploration permits in Fiji.
The reduction in losses was largely a result of the company capitalising exploration and evaluation expenditure at Solwara 1 following receipt of the Mining Lease in January.
The net cash position remained strong at US$112 million at the end of the period, following additional investment of US$42 million in plant & equipment and mineral properties during the six months.
"Nautilus made excellent progress in the first half of 2011, achieving a number of important milestones," said CEO Steve Rogers.
"Our financial position remains healthy and strong global commodity prices continue to enhance the business proposition. Significant value has been added over recent months as our exploration programs have yielded encouraging results, and we have gained additional highly prospective exploration territory in Fiji and International waters.
"We look forward to the delivery of components for our seafloor production equipment and the announcement of a resource update in the second half of the year," he said.
A Conference Call and Webcast will be held on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. EDT (Toronto), 2:00 p.m. BST (London).
International Dial in: +61 2 8113 1401
Australia: 1800 554 798
Canada: 1800 332 0991
United Kingdom: 0808 234 8407
United States Of America: 1866 839 8029
If your country dial-in number is not included here please email firstname.lastname@example.org
A presentation to support the conference call will be posted on http://www.nautilusminerals.com for download by 8:30 a.m. EDT (Toronto) on Tuesday, August 16, 2011.
Nautilus Granted Mining Lease
The Financial Statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis have been filed on www.sedar.com and are also available on the Company's website
Nautilus Minerals Inc.
Nautilus is the first company to commercially explore the ocean floor for polymetallic seafloor massive sulphide deposits and is currently developing its first project at Solwara 1, in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea.
Nautilus is listed on the TSX and AIM stock exchanges, and has among its largest shareholders two of the world's leading international resource companies Anglo American (11.1%) and Teck Resources (6.8%), as well as Metalloinvest, one of the largest and fastest growing mining and metallurgical holding companies in Russia, which beneficially owns 21% of the Company's issued shares through Gazmetall Holding (Cyprus) Limited.
For more information please refer www.nautilusminerals.com or contact:
Nautilus Minerals Inc.
Tel: +1 (416) 551 1100
Vice President Investor Relations and Communications
Tel: +61 (7) 3318 5544
Cell: +61 431 365 741
Numis Securities Limited
Nominated adviser: John Harrison
Corporate broking: James Black
Tel: + 44(0) 20 7260 1000
Neither the TSX nor the London Stock Exchange accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.
Certain of the statements made in this news release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities law. Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information include, but are not limited to statements or information with respect to the formation of a joint venture with Harren & Partner, the delivery of the PSV in the first half of 2013 for a price of US$171 million and the finalisation of project agreements with Petromin PNG Holdings Limited , . We have made numerous assumptions about the material forward-looking statements and information contained herein, including among other things, that the joint venture partners will continue to negotiate with Nautilus and the negotiations will be successfully concluded, Even though our management believes that the assumptions made and the expectations represented by such statements or information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking statement or information will prove to be accurate. Forward-looking statements and information by their nature involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors include, among others, the risk that the conditions precedent to the agreement with Harren & Partner will not be satisfied, that agreements with Petromin are not successfully concluded or that the exploration and special prospecting licences obtained in the Clarion Clipperton Zone and Fiji respectively are not highly prospective. Should one or more of these risks, uncertainties or other factors materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in forward-looking statements and information. Although we have attempted to identify factors that would cause actual results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements and information, there may be other factors that cause actual results, performances, achievements or events to not be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Also, many of the factors are beyond our control. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements or information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information. Except as required by law, we do not expect to update forward-looking statements and information as conditions change and you are referred to the full discussion of the Company's business contained in the Company's reports filed with the securities regulatory authorities in Canada.
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