Nautilus Minerals Inc.

Nautilus Minerals Inc.

February 18, 2009 11:38 ET

Exploration Success Continues for Nautilus Minerals in Tonga



February 18, 2009

Exploration Success Continues for Nautilus Minerals in Tonga

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 18, 2009) - Nautilus Minerals Inc. (TSX:NUS)(AIM:NUS) (the "Company" or
"Nautilus") announces a summary of its exploration results in Tonga for 2008, Nautilus' first commercial
deepwater exploration program in the Kingdom of Tonga's exclusive economic zone.

During 2008, the combined exploration programs have identified ten new Seafloor Massive Sulphide ("SMS")
systems in Tonga. Six of these SMS discoveries were mapped by Nautilus itself during the program completed from
MV Norsky in mid December 2008. A further six previously known SMS systems were also characterised during this
work program. These results were in addition to the four new systems discovered by Teck as part of its
contribution under the agreement with Nautilus. The results attest both to the strong resource upside on
Nautilus' tenements and the efficiency of Nautilus' target generation and target testing methods.

Stephen Rogers Nautilus' CEO commented: "There are three key findings from the combined 2008 exploration
programs. Firstly, the high rate at which Nautilus can find and test SMS systems has now been demonstrated both
in Papua New Guinea ("PNG") and Tonga. Secondly, most of the 2008 work program focused on the testing of
targets within a relatively short (100km) segment of the prospective spreading ridge; yet Nautilus' Tongan
tenements contain in-excess of 1,500km of prospective strike length. Whilst currently identified
mineralisations are dominated by zinc, there are indications of significant precious metals, which would
require further evaluation. We are aware also that SMS systems can be vertically zoned, with the higher
temperature copper sulphides deeper in the system, so any indication of copper at the seafloor level is

For more information on Teck's Tongan discoveries see the September 17, 2008 press release


Table 1 - Summary of MV Norsky 2008 sampling program in Tonga - Average
Assay Results for Massive Sulphide and Semi-Massive Sulphide Samples by

               Ave. Ave.  Ave.   Ave.  Ave.  No. of    East-   North-
                Zn%  Cu%   Pb%    Ag    Au  samples     ing      ing   Depth
Name            (1)  (1)   (1)   g/t   g/t       (2)     (3)      (3)   mbsl
Tahi Moana 1  31.2  1.6   0.2    180   4.2        9  585035  7712635    2206
Tahi Moana 2   7.6  0.3   0.8    129   2.8        5  547880  7574650    1845
Tahi Moana 4
 (Telve)       1.7  0.0   1.0    509  12.9        1  539480  7549305    1636
Tahi Moana 5
 (Misiteli)   12.8  1.5   2.7    700  20.7        7  530520  7513790    2031
Tahi Moana 6
 (Si'i Si'i)  27.2  0.4   1.1    239   7.5        3  538070  7535020    1895
White Church  19.3  0.6   0.4     87   3.0        6  552085  7583560    1907
NVFR Site 2   23.7  0.7   0.2    128   5.7        4  549895  7579705    1796
NVFR Site 3   22.5  1.8   0.4    115   3.3       12  547185  7572570    1843
Mariner       24.0  3.7   0.3     80   3.8        3  541060  7547080    1907
Hine Hina 1   22.5  6.4   0.1    177   5.8        9  529150  7507810    1828
Tui Malila 1  21.8  0.9   0.5     84   4.1        5  544625  7568460    1834
(1) Average analyses from laboratory
(2) Semi-massive and massive sulphide material only
(3) UTM South Zone 1 coordinates, WGS 1984 datum.
Note - Tahi Moana 3 - no sulphide sample collected, Abe - no samples


Nautilus Minerals' MV Norsky 2008 exploration cruise to Tonga was focused on rapid evaluation of SMS targets
using a Remotely Operated Vehicle ("ROV"). Features indicative of SMS mineralisation were identified from real-
time video observations and were confirmed by geological logging and analysis of recovered samples. Geological
observations and geophysical data collected during the ROV dives, is being processed to identify further

The new SMS systems are named Tahi Moana 1 through to Tahi Moana 6.

Tahi Moana 1 is 480m long with an average across strike width of approximately 90m. It lies at a water depth of
2200m and assay results from nine sulphide samples report maximum zinc up to 45.1% (upper detection limit),
copper up to 5.0%, silver up to 331g/t and gold up to 7g/t (see Table 1, Table 2 and Figure 2).

Tahi Moana 2 contains two sub-areas of 350 by 160m and 250 by 130m surface exposure separated by approximately
100m of volcanic rock outcrop. It lies in a water depth of 1850m and assay results from five sulphide samples
report zinc contents up to 26.8%, copper up to 1.1%, silver to 289g/t and gold up to 4.9g/t (see Table 1, Table
2 and Figure 3).

Tahi Moana 3 contains two exposed sub-areas of 320 by 60m and 270 by 60m. It lies in a water depth of 2000m.
Hydrothermal material in this area is strongly oxidized and very soft; no samples of mineralisation could be
recovered (see Figure 4).

Tahi Moana 4 contains a small area of mineralisation from which a single sample assayed 1.7% zinc, 509g/t
silver and 12.9g/t gold. It lies in a water depth of 1650m (see Table 1, Table 2 and Figure 5).

Tahi Moana 5 contains seven sub-areas with indications of SMS mineralisation, the largest of which is
approximately 230 by 50m in area. It lies in a water depth of 2050m and assay results from seven sulphide
samples report zinc contents up to 21.1%, copper up to 7.1%, silver up to 1690g/t and gold up to 44.1g/t (see
Table 1, Table 2 and Figure 6).

Tahi Moana 6 contains discontinuous mineralised outcrop 175m by 75m in area. It lies in a water depth of 1900m
and assay results from three massive sulphide samples report zinc contents of up to 49.5%, copper up to 1.0%,
silver up to 334g/t and gold up to 11.2g/t (see Table 1, Table 2 and Figure 7).

Six SMS occurrences previously reported by marine science research organisations, were evaluated by Nautilus
during the MV Norsky 2008 cruise and found to host significant mineralisation.

- The White Church occurrence (1) is approximately 470m long by up to 145m. It lies in a water depth of 1900m
and assay results from six massive sulphide samples report zinc up to 32.6%, copper up to 1.1%, silver up to
126g/t and gold up to 3.7g/t (see Table 1, Table 2 and Figure 8).

- The North Valu Fa Ridge Site 2 (1) contains a zone with indications of mineralisation over approximately 200
by 20m. It lies in water depth of 1790m and assay results from four sulphide samples report zinc up to 26.0%,
copper up to 1.0%, silver up to 189g/t and gold up to 7.4g/t (see Table 1, Table 2 and Figure 9).

- The North Valu Fa Ridge Site 3 (1) contains three sub-areas of mineralisation. The largest sub-area contains
indications of SMS mineralisation within a zone approximately 450 by up to 150m in extent. It lies in water
depth of 1800m and assay results from 12 samples of semi-massive to massive sulphide report zinc 48.5%, copper
up to 11.9%, silver up to 326g/t and gold up to 10.2g/t (see Table 1, Table 2 and Figure 10).

- The Mariner site (2)(3) is a curved feature approximately 360 by 70m with indications of mineralisation. It
lies in water depth of 1900m and assay results from three samples of semi-massive to massive sulphide report
zinc up to 35.8%, copper up to 10.5%, silver up to 145g/t and gold up to 7.4g/t (see Table 1, Table 2 and
Figure 11).

- The Hine Hina site (1)(4) contains mineralisation within a main area of approximately 300 by 100m. It lies in
a water depth of 1850m and assay results from nine massive sulphide samples report zinc up to 49.0%, copper up
to 13.0%, silver up to 295g/t and gold up to 12.6g/t. Significant areas of sediment at this site may conceal
further areas of mineralisation (see Table 1, Table 2 and Figure 12).

- The Tui Malila site (3) contains two mineralised areas of approximately 220 by 85 m and 80m by 110m. It lies
in a water depth of 1850m and assay results from five massive sulphide samples indicate zinc up to 27.1%,
copper up to 1.6%, silver up to 142g/t and gold up to 5.6g/t (see Table 1, Table 2 and Figure 13).

- The Abe site (3)(5) contains indications of mineralisation over approximately 80 by 25m. No samples were
recovered (see Figure 14).

Links for Figures and Table 2

Figure 1:

Figure 2:

Figure 3:

Figure 4:

Figure 5:

Figure 6:

Figure 7:

Figure 8:

Figure 9:

Figure 10:

Figure 11:

Figure 12:

Figure 13:

Figure 14:

Table 2:

Sampling Procedure

Sulphide mineralisation observed during the MV Norsky 2008 cruise to Tonga was mapped visually with a T200 ROV
and confirmed by grab sampling.

The majority of ROV dives conducted during the Tongan geology phase were planned as traverses on a series of
parallel lines, each with a separation of 200m, cutting across the general structure of the ridge section under
investigation. When hydrothermal chimney structures were observed the area was followed up by either closer-
spaced traverses or by mapping along geological features.

In each case a polygon indicating the outer limits of potential SMS mineralisation was mapped. This polygon
includes areas of chimneys, hydrothermal mounds, vent-proximal fauna, geophysical anomalies and other such
features indicative of possible mineralisation. Areas covered by thin sediment immediately adjacent to
identified mineralisation were included in these outlines, as were minor areas of potentially barren volcanic
outcrop or sub-crop.

Samples were collected from the seafloor using a manipulator arm mounted on the ROV. Samples averaging 19.7kg
(from 0.2 to 103kg) were placed in number sample containers for recovery to the ship where they were then sub-
sampled on board the ship. Sample selection targeted material exposed at surface across different parts of the
SMS system. Sub-samples averaging 4.7kg (from 0.21 to 14.5kg) were taken for analysis from each of the samples
using a pneumatic hammer. The remaining portions of each sample were retained for reference purposes.

Laboratory Analysis:

All analysis was carried out by ALS Laboratory Group in Brisbane, Australia. ALS operates quality systems based
on international standards ISO/IEC17025:1999 "General requirements for the competence of calibration and
testing laboratories" and ISO9001:2000 "Quality Management Systems - Requirements".

Qualified Person

The exploration results reported in this announcement have been compiled under the supervision of Anthony
O'Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer of Nautilus. Mr. O'Sullivan is a member of the Australasian Institute of
Mining and Metallurgy, has more than 20 years experience in mining and exploration geology, and is a qualified
person as defined under National Instrument 43-101. He consents to his name being used in this release.


(1) reported previously by the Nautilau (1989)

(2) reported by Sweep Vents (2004)

(3) reported by TUIMO5MV (2005)

(4) reported by SO-67 (1990)

(5) reported by KM0417 (2004)


The Tahi Moana discoveries result from systematic evaluation of historical marine scientific research (MSR)
data, collected over the past two decades; in particular Nautilus would like to acknowledge data acquired by
the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA), the Nautilau Group and contributors to the Ridge2000 project.

The representations in Figures 2 to 14 are in part derived from Mini Autonomous Plume Recorder (MAPR) data made
available by Dr Edward Baker of NOAA (KM0804, 2008). These instruments map the level of turbidity of the sea
water, at different altitudes above the seafloor; they are useful for identifying possible hydrothermal events
that are injecting particles into the seawater.

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 currently developing its first project. The Company's main focus 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 two of the world's leading
international resource companies, Teck (6.8%) and Anglo American (11.1%). Metalloinvest, one of the largest and
fastest growing mining and metallurgical holding companies in Russia, beneficially owns 21.0% of its shares
through Gazmetall Holding (Cypress) Limited.



Nautilus Minerals Inc.
Investor Relations
(416) 551-1100


Nautilus Minerals Inc.
Australian Project Office
+61 (7) 3318 5555


Numis Securities Limited
John Harrison
Nominated adviser
+ 44(0) 20 7260 1000


Numis Securities Limited
James Black
Corporate broking
+ 44(0) 20 7260 1000

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


Contact Information

  • Nautilus Minerals Inc.