Nautilus digs for deep-sea gold

Nautilus Minerals has been granted a lease by Papua New Guinea to develop a gold and copper mine 1.6km under the sea surface, in what would be the first commercial deep-sea mine.

Nautilus, which is focused on exploring the seafloor for mineral deposits, said that the 20-year lease covers an area of nearly 60 square kilometers around its Solwara 1 project in the south-western Pacific.

The Papua New Guinea government has retained an option to take a 30 per cent stake as a joint venture partner within the next month, Nautilus added.

Anglo-American holds an 11 per cent stake in the company, whose shares trade in Toronto and on London's Aim market.