Nautilus Minerals Inc.
AIM : NUS
TSX : NUS

Nautilus Minerals Inc.

November 14, 2007 09:32 ET

Nautilus Expands its Exploration Interests in the Western Pacific

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 14, 2007) - Nautilus Minerals Inc. (TSX:NUS)(AIM:NUS) ("Nautilus" or the "Company") announces that it has been granted 16 offshore exploration licences covering 77,552 km2, being an area containing most known prospects within the 1887 Proclamation Area of the Kingdom of Tonga in the western Pacific.. A further 14 tenements covering 8,267 km2 in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Solomon Islands have also been granted, continuing the Company's tenement holding in the highly prospective Woodlark Basin to the east of Papua New Guinea ("PNG").

Nautilus now has approximately 119,950 km2 of granted tenements, and approximately 250,110 km2 of tenement applications in the territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zones of Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Fiji and New Zealand (http://www.nautilusminerals.com/i/misc/Figure-1_large_14.jpg).

Nautilus' CEO, David Heydon commented: "Following the success of our 2007 exploration program in Papua New Guinea with the discovery of new seafloor massive sulphide systems and the development of geophysics and drilling tools, Nautilus continues to build on its first mover advantage and to develop a pipeline of projects with its goal to have a resource inventory across the Western Pacific that can be aggregated with a mobile mining spread. The exploration licences granted in Tonga cover a strike of over 900 km of highly prospective geology known to contain seafloor massive sulphide ("SMS") occurrences. The prospectivity of the granted exploration licences has been demonstrated by initial survey work undertaken by marine scientific research ("MSR") groups, including groups from the USA, Japan, Korea, and Germany. These MSR groups have identified at least 10 prospects where SMS accumulations have been observed (http://www.nautilusminerals.com/i/misc/Figure-2_large_14.jpg). Surface sampling by these MSR groups over just five prospects returned average1 results of 22.7% zinc, 4.7% copper, 2.0 g/t gold and 77 g/t silver from 231 samples. These results are similar to our experience in PNG where MSR groups initially discovered a number of systems, with further work by Nautilus confirming the tenor of mineralisation in these systems and rapidly discovering others. The licences granted in the Solomon Islands are an extension of our highly prospective Woodlark Basin tenements to the east of Papua New Guinea (http://www.nautilusminerals.com/i/misc/Figure-3_large_14.jpg)"

Nine of the 16 granted titles in Tonga (Core Titles) and all of the Solomon Island licences are 100% owned by Nautilus with the other seven Tongan licences subject to an option by Teck Cominco to enter into a joint venture to earn a 40% interest by spending US$25 million on exploration within two years of exercising its option. Teck Cominco may earn an additional 10.1% in each selected Project Area (defined as an area 100 km2 to 200 km2) by spending US$10 million on each Project Area.



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Table 1: Average results of Marine Scientific Research Sampling on
sulphide prospects in Tonga

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Samples Zinc Copper Gold Silver
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% % g/t g/t
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King's Triple Junction 78 28.2 5.6 N/A 18
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White Church 44 6.5 0.4 2.6 83
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NVFR Site 2 12 13.9 9.5 2.3 86
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NVFR Site 3 8 24.3 4.4 1.9 89
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Vai Lili 89 26.9 5.4 3.3 124
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22.7 4.7 2.0 77
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(1) Note that these average values are from a scientific report and may be based on sulphide samples that were specifically selected for detailed analysis and scientific research on the formation and genesis of SMS systems. Therefore, the average values stated only reflect the average of the samples selected and may not reflect the average value of the SMS deposit. Experience from Nautilus' work in PNG as documented in our 43 101 report on the SEDAR website has shown that scientific report values provide a reasonable indication of the potential of mineralisation. Prospect locations shown in
(http://www.nautilusminerals.com/i/misc/Figure-2_large_14.jpg)

The Kingdom of Tonga (also known as the "Friendly Islands") is an archipelago of approximately 170 islands containing 748 km2 of land spread over 360,000 km2 of the southern Pacific Ocean; roughly two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand. Tonga is a constitutional monarchy, with His Majesty King George Tupou V as Head of State. The major industries in Tonga's open economy include agriculture and fisheries, and its major trading partners include New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and the United States of America. Tonga is an active member of both the United Nations and the Commonwealth, and recently joined the World Trade Organization as an observer. Tonga's population of just over 100,000 people speak English and Tongan. Tonga has a common law tradition.

The Solomon Islands is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government, and Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State. Nautilus' tenements all lie within Western Province, adjacent to Papua New Guinea, and cover the main Woodlark Basin spreading centre.

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 largest international resource companies, including Epion (16.8%), Anglo American (6.4%) and Teck Cominco (5.8%).

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
    Email: ceo@nautilusminerals.com
    or
    Numis Securities Limited (NOMAD)
    John Harrison/James Black
    +44 (0) 20 7260 1000
    or
    Conduit PR Ltd (UK Financial PR)
    Arabella Hobbs/Ed Portman
    +44(0) 7429 6610/ +44(0) 7833 926 694