Shares in Canada’s Nautilus Minerals (TSX:NUS), one of the world’s first seafloor miners, were hit hard on Wednesday after the owner of the shipyard where the company’s support vessel is being made said it had cancelled the contract with the supplier chosen by Nautilus to build its ships.
The Toronto-based company, which is in the last stages of developing its Solwara 1 gold, copper and silver project, off the coast of Papua Guinea, said Fujian Mawei Shipbuilding’s decision was in response to shipbuilder MAC Goliath Pte’s failure to pay the third instalment of the contract price — $18 million before interest.
The company’s stock fell almost 19% in Toronto on the news, hitting 15 Canadian cents at 12:21 PM local time, but between the average range it’s traded so far this year. In the last seven years, however, Nautilus’ shares have sunk around 90% and is now valued at just over Cdn $111 million.
The miner, which also is developing another underwater project, off the coast of Mexico, secured last month $34 million from lender Deep Sea Mining Finance, to finish its Solwara 1 project.
However, it lost Anglo American’s (LON:AAL) support, as the mining giant said in May it was in the process of divesting its 4%-stake in the company.
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