Nautilus Minerals (NUS - Toronto and London) 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 where massive deposits of gold, silver, copper and cobalt have been discovered.
In 2008, the highly respected "Golder Associates" completed a National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report of Nautilus's "Solwara 1 project", a vast deposit of gold, silver, copper, and cobalt, which protude from massive hydrothermal sulphine vents (Massive seafloor sulphides known as chimneys) which pockmark the geography of the seabed over a very large area. This technical report was requested after Nautilus, in conjunction with scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) did a joint exploration of the area in 2006 and discovered massive gold and silver deposits 1500 ft below the Bismark Sea.The estimates for gold and silver deposits alone (let alone the massive deposits of copper, cobalt, lead and zinc) are staggering.
Underwater Gold FountainsThe massive seafloor sulfides come from small underwater vents that go deep inside the Earth’s core where the planet’s crusts are loaded with valuable metals.
As pressure builds up inside the vents, they eventually release much like a geyser.
But instead of shooting water out, the vents blast gold, silver, copper, and zinc out all over the ocean floor.
They’ve been doing this for millions of years. And now the floor is literally covered with the densest clusters of precious metals on Earth.
According to the International Seabed Authority, “a single deposit could weigh 100-million tons.”
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.
Recently Nautilus released their first half highlights for 2011
An exclusive 20 year licence!
- In January, the PNG Government (Papua, New Guinea) 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 an exclusive, 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.
- 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.
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
For more information you can go to 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