Nautilus’ stock plummets as deep sea mining litigation proceeds

Tuesday 17 July 2018


Today Nautilus Minerals Solwara 1 deep sea mine project will be at the centre of a court hearing in Papua New Guinea as local communities seek to enforce their legal rights to full information about the project. [1]

Andy Whitmore, Finance campaigner from the Deep Sea Mining campaign said, “We were informed that Nautilus told its shareholders at their AGM that the legal case bought by local communities in PNG to stop the Solwara 1 project had been dismissed on June 18.”

“It is also alleged that Nautilus stated to shareholders they believed the government of PNG was going after community for cost recovery because it was a spurious lawsuit.”

“This is misinformation from Nautilus!” claimed Jonathan Mesulam from theAlliance of Solwara Warriors[2], a local community leader whose village is located 25km from the Solwara 1 project.

“There is still a legal case registered at Waigani National Court House. The case, which was adjourned on June 18, will be heard today.”[3]

“The real question is this: why is the government trying to dismiss this case? Why would government resources be invested in blocking this case over the constitutional right of all PNG citizens to Freedom of Information?”

Nautilus stock fell by 19% this month after a string of bad news stories. These include the contract with their shipbuilding supplier had been canceled,[4] major mining company Anglo American divesting its’ shares from the company[5] and that the majority of the local community in New Ireland province oppose the renewal of Nautilus’ exploration license.

“Local community around the Community Beneficiary Area (CBA) have all objected to the renewal of Exploration License 1196 through written objection which was lodged at the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) in March this year. There was also strong objection during the Warden hearing in April” continued Mr. Mesulam.[6]

“New Irelanders are now well informed of the potential impact of Nautilus Minerals and their experimental seabed mining project. They are giving their undivided support to ensure the project is stopped at all cost.”

For more info

Jonathan Mesulam Alliance of Solwara Warriors
mesulamjonathan[at] +675 7003 8933

Andy Whitmore Deep Sea Mining Campaign
whit[at] +44 775 439 5597


[1] ‘Legal action launched over the Nautilus Solwara 1 Experimental Seabed Mine’, Media Release, Alliance of Solwara Warriors and Centre for Environmental Law and Community Rights (CELCoR), 8 December 2017

[2] The Alliance of Solwara Warriors is a growing group of communities and supporters from Madang, East New Britain, New Ireland, Manus and Milne Bay Provinces.

[3] ‘Locals launch legal action against PNG Gov’t over Nautilus deep sea project’, Australian Mining, 8 December 2017; ‘Troubled Papua New Guinea deep-sea mine faces environmental challenge’, The Guardian, 12 December 2017

[4] ‘Nautilus Minerals tanks on shipbuilding contract cancellation’, 4 July 2018

[5] ‘Anglo American to exit stake in deep sea mining company’, Financial Times, 5 May 2018

[6] ‘Alliance of Solwara Warriors lodge objection’, Loop PNG, 27 February 2018