Nautilus Minerals Inc.
AIM : NUS
TSX : NUS

Nautilus Minerals Inc.

December 20, 2007 09:30 ET

Teck Cominco Exercises 3 Million US$5 Warrants

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 20, 2007) - Nautilus Minerals Inc. (TSX:NUS)(AIM:NUS) (the "Company" or "Nautilus") is pleased to announce that Teck Cominco Limited ("Teck Cominco") has agreed to exercise, 6 months early, its share purchase warrants to acquire 3,000,000 additional common shares of the Company at a price of US$5.00 (C$5.05, Pounds Sterling 2.47)(i) per share for a total of US$15 million taking Teck Cominco's shareholding to approximately 7.2% of the issued shares of the Company.

David Heydon Nautilus CEO commented: "The exercise of these warrants brings to US$52 million the funds committed by Teck Cominco to the Company following an earlier placement of US$25 million and a commitment to pay US$12 million as an option to form joint ventures with Nautilus." Refer announcement December 7, 2006 (www.nautilusminerals.com/s/Media-NewsReleases.asp?ReportID=162197)

Teck Cominco and Nautilus have today agreed that Teck Cominco may utilise the US$12 million option payment to conduct and manage a ship based exploration program in 2008 in one or more of four designated areas in Papua New Guinea, Tonga and New Zealand ("the Areas"). Excluded from the Areas are the Solwara 1 to 8 projects, a 17,500 sq km tenement package in Papua New Guinea and exploration licences and applications in Tonga and Fiji applied for before October 20, 2006 which remain 100% owned by Nautilus.

Today's agreement calls upon Teck Cominco to establish an exploration team to develop and carry out a ship based program in 2008 in the Areas, and to commit to that sea based program by notice to Nautilus by June 30, 2008.

David Heydon added: "Nautilus and Teck Cominco are already working together to co-ordinate plans for a substantial exploration program for the coming year which would involve several vessels operating across our title areas. An accelerated exploration program with an increased budget provides the opportunity to extend our project pipeline."

If Teck Cominco does not make the commitment for any particular Area before June 30, 2008 it will lose the right to form a joint venture with Nautilus in that Area and will be restrained from competing with Nautilus until 31 August 2011 in that Area. If Teck Cominco does not make a commitment to any of the Areas before June 30, 2008 it has agreed to pay Nautilus any shortfall in the US$12 million expenditure requirement.

Teck Cominco will not earn an equity interest in any tenements through this US$12 million expenditure but, rather will then have the right to select, by December 31, 2008, various countries for a country earn-in. For details of the circumstances under which Teck Cominco can earn an interest in tenements and mineral properties, Refer Announcement December 7, 2006 (www.nautilusminerals.com/s/Media-NewsReleases.asp?ReportID=162197).

Major Shareholders

In addition to Teck Cominco, Nautilus has among its largest shareholders, Epion Holdings Limited ("Epion") and Anglo American Plc ("Anglo American").

Epion (22.4% shareholder)(ii)

After investing to date a total of US$109 million, Epion now holds 22.4% of the Company's issued shares. Epion is a company that is wholly owned by the Metalloinvest Group controlled by Mr. Alisher Usmanov who is a prominent Russian investor in the mining and metal industries. The Metalloinvest Group is Russia's largest iron ore producer and owns several integrated steel operations.

Anglo American (5.7% shareholder)(ii)

Anglo American holds a one off anti-dilution right on 31 October 2008, entitling it on that date to 11.1% of the Company's issued common shares at a purchase price premium of between 10% and 20% above the volume weighted average trading price of all the common shares traded during the month of October 2008. For details, refer to announcement 30th October 2006, (www.nautilusminerals.com/s/Media-NewsReleases.asp?ReportID=156276)

Epion, Anglo American and Teck Cominco have agreed that if a takeover bid is made for Nautilus and recommended by the Board, that they will accept the bid or make a higher counter offer.

(i) Exchange rates used herein: C$1.00 equal to US$0.99 and Pounds Sterling 0.49.

(ii) Share percentage calculated post the issuance of shares resulting from the exercise of the Teck Cominco warrants.

About Nautilus Minerals Inc.

Nautilus is the first company to commercially explore the ocean floor for gold and copper seafloor massive sulphide deposits and is positioned to become an emerging producer in 2010. The Company's main focus for 2008 is the Solwara 1 Project, which is located in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea in the western Pacific Ocean. Nautilus is listed on the TSX and on AIM, and has among its largest shareholders three of the world's leading international resource companies, including Epion (22.4%), Teck Cominco (7.2%) and Anglo American (5.7%) shareholdings post the issuance of shares resulting from the exercise of the Teck Cominco warrants above.

Neither the TSX nor the London Stock Exchange accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.

Contact Information

  • Nautilus Minerals Inc. (Toronto)
    Investor Relations
    (416) 551-1100
    Email: investor@nautilusminerals.com
    Website: www.nautilusminerals.com
    or
    Australian Project Office
    +61 (7) 3318 5555
    or
    Numis Securities Limited (NOMAD)
    John Harrison/James Black
    + 44(0) 20 7260 1000
    or
    Conduit PR Ltd (UK Financial PR)
    Arabella Hobbs
    + 44(0) 20 7429 6610
    or
    Conduit PR Ltd (UK Financial PR)
    Ed Portman
    +44(0) 7833 926 694