Nautilus Minerals Inc.

Nautilus Minerals Inc.

March 19, 2014 07:46 ET

Nautilus Confirms Grade and Extent of CCZ Nodule Deposit

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 19, 2014) - Nautilus Minerals Inc. (TSX:NUS)(OTCQX:NUSMF) (the "Company" or "Nautilus") announces that its 100% owned subsidiary, Tonga Offshore Mining Limited ("TOML") has processed data and received analytical results from samples collected during the exploration program conducted aboard the R/V Mt Mitchell vessel over its Clarion Clipperton Zone ("CCZ") project located in the central Pacific (refer to the Links section below).

Nautilus' CEO and TOML Director, Mike Johnston stated, "The consistently high grades of the samples qualitatively support the grade of elements reported in our March 2013 NI 43-101 technical report, with these assay results suggesting potential for other elements such as Molybdenum, and Rare Earth Elements ("REEs") as by-products. The multibeam echosounder ("MBES") and backscatter results further support the continuous nature of mineralisation across our entire contract area, including Area E and Area F, which were not part of the current inferred resource estimate, but which area represents around 30% of the total TOML contract area. We have sufficient samples to complete our initial metallurgical studies. This work will also be supported by preliminary engineering studies on key elements of the materials handling system."

The extents of the MBES survey can be seen in Figure 1 in the Links section. The analytical results are summarised in Tables 1 and 2 below.

Table 1: Summary assays for dredge sample composites from TOML Areas B, D, F within the CCZ.
Area / Sled ID Lithology # sub-samples Latitude (WGS84) Longitude (WGS84) Depth (mbsl) Ni % Cu % Co % Mn % Fe %
B1 Nodule 20 13.67 -132.85 4800 1.50 1.17 0.245 30.3 5.65
D1 Nodule 20 13.46 -124.65 4600 1.39 1.19 0.200 30.2 5.29
D2 Nodule 20 13.45 -124.68 4700 1.40 1.20 0.214 30.8 5.59
D4 Nodule 20 13.72 -123.95 4700 1.28 1.17 0.225 30.3 5.16
D5 Nodule 20 13.72 -123.95 4600 1.47 1.27 0.211 30.6 5.11
D6 Nodule 17 13.75 -124.33 4400 1.39 1.18 0.224 30.5 5.51
D7 Nodule 20 13.88 -124.28 4400 1.44 1.27 0.233 29.9 5.38
D8 Nodule 20 13.88 -124.28 4400 1.35 1.22 0.213 29.0 5.63
D9 Nodule 20 13.87 -124.28 4400 1.41 1.21 0.218 29.6 5.67
F1 Nodule 20 14.06 -124.90 4200 1.36 1.17 0.143 32.0 6.16
F2 Nodule 21 14.06 -124.90 4400 1.33 1.38 0.130 31.8 5.12
F3 Nodule 21 14.03 -124.95 4400 1.42 1.33 0.137 32.0 5.07
F4 Nodule 20 10.28 -118.52 4300 1.36 1.34 0.157 32.4 5.14
D4 Nodule (crust) 20 10.67 -118.65 4700 0.30 0.34 0.065 8.20 4.61
D6 Nodule (crust) 14 10.69 -118.65 4400 1.23 0.99 0.188 27.1 5.60
D8 Nodule (crust) 9 10.99 -118.86 4400 1.01 0.88 0.219 21.4 6.90
NOTE: refer to the Laboratory Analysis section below for analytical details.
Table 2: Average Molybdenum and REE assays for a dredge sample composite (23 samples) from TOML Areas B, D, F within the CCZ.
Element Symbol Average (ppm)
Molybdenum Mo 552
Scandium Sc 11.8
Yttrium Y 74.1
Lanthanum La 88.4
Cerium Ce 257
Praseodymium Pr 28.1
Neodymium Nd 112
Samarium Sm 28.7
Europium Eu 7.01
Gadolinium Gd 27.7
Terbium Tb 4.20
Dysprosium Dy 24.2
Holmium Ho 4.30
Erbium Er 11.9
Thulium Tm 1.59
Ytterbium Yb 11.4
Lutetium Lu 1.67
NOTE: refer to the Laboratory Analysis section below for analytical details. All values in table 2 are proportion dry weight in parts per million (ppm)

Approximately 64,000 km2 of MBES and backscatter were collected using a Kongsberg EM120 (12 kHz) Multibeam echosounder over about 85% of the granted contract area (Figure 1). These data allow for detailed geological mapping of terranes, seafloor composition, and nodule distribution and relative nodule abundance. The results of this work will be used to focus future work.

The sample composites in Table 1 were collected using an epibenthic sled (refer to the sampling methodology section below for more details). These samples were taken for preliminary chemical investigation and bulk metallurgical test-work and were not collected in a manner that can support any type of quantitative assessment of the mineral resource estimate.*

* Nimmo (2013): 410 M tons @ 1.2% Ni, 1.1% Cu, 0.24% Co and 27% Mn (Abundance cut-off 6 wet kg/m2). Updated NI 43-101 Technical Report Clarion-Clipperton Zone Project, Pacific Ocean (the "CCZ Report"), dated March 20, 2013. See links section below to access this Report.


Figure 1:

Figure 2:

Laboratory Analysis:

Analysis of the nodules was done by two leading laboratories, with techniques refined so as to apply to the nodules' physical and chemical nature. A multi-element analysis method (reviewed by Mathew Nimmo of Golder Associates) has now been developed, which will be used for future nodule sampling programs and to support any future mineral resource updates.

The laboratory analyses results in Table 1 were completed by the independent ALS Laboratory Group in Brisbane, Australia. ALS Brisbane has extensive experience in the analysis of high manganese materials by the XRF method. ALS operates quality systems based on international standards ISO/IEC17025:1999 "General requirements for competence of calibration and testing laboratories" and ISO9001:2000 "Quality Management Systems -- Requirements".

Nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), cobalt (Co), manganese (Mn), and iron (Fe) were determined using a chromite/manganese ore fused disk XRF method (ME-XRF26s).

The laboratory analyses results in Table 2 were completed by the independent laboratory operated by the Integrated Environmental Studies Program Group, Earth and Space Sciences Program, at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany. This group has been involved in nodule analysis and study for over 10 years and has been integral to much of the development of nodule standards used in the industry. All of the elements reported in Table 2 were determined using a nitric acid digest ICP MS method.

Sampling Methodology:

Fourteen deployments of an epibethic sled were made by TOML during the 2013 cruise to the CCZ (Figure 1, Figure 2), recovering some 2.1 tonnes of mineralised nodules. The sled was towed across the sea-floor and then retrieved to the vessel with sample caught in a net. Thirteen samples were of sufficient size (40 to 370 kg) to use for analytical and test purposes, per Table 1.

The sled samples were taken to be used for metallurgical testwork and so were not subjected to crushing and splitting. Small sub-samples were collected by hand from each sled sample with discrimination of nodules from nodule crusts when both were present (Table 1). Nodule crusts are a sub-type of nodule that includes some proportion of benthic seafloor sediment. A carefully hand split duplicate sub-sample was included per group of sled samples.

Each sub-sample (302 plus 16 duplicates in total) was analysed separately and averages (excluding duplicates) are summarised in Table 1.

Thirty sub-samples (including seven duplicates) were selected based on a range of chemistry and sample locations, and submitted for analysis for rare earth elements. Averages (excluding duplicates) are given in Table 2.

Quality Assurance:

Sample duplicates, laboratory standards, laboratory duplicates and laboratory blanks were measured and their analytical results are assessed to be within acceptable tolerances. Samples were assayed using multiple methods (ICP and XRF) and by two laboratories (ALS in Brisbane and Jacobs in Germany) which allowed verification of assaying method, identification of any issues in assaying and to formulate the preferred method for assaying to be used in future sampling programmes.

QP Mathew Nimmo has verified the exploration information disclosed herein. This includes review of the sampling, sample preparation, chemical analysis and quality assurance processes. Due to the remote nature of sampling it does not include independent check sampling, however the sample grades received for this exercise are very similar to those obtained historically (refer to the technical report in the links below), which were sampled and analysed independently.

Qualified Person:

The exploration results reported in this press release have been compiled under the supervision of Jonathan Lowe, Vice President Strategic Direction and Exploration of Nautilus Minerals. Mr Lowe is a Fellow and Chartered Professional of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, has over 19 years experience in exploration geoscience, and is a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101. He has read and approved the technical disclosure in this release.

Mr Mathew Nimmo, Principal Geologist and full time employee of Golder Associates Pty Ltd., is a Member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists and has sufficient experience in resource estimation to qualify as a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101. He has reviewed the planning of the sampling process and the laboratory assay results described within this technical disclosure, which he has read and approved for release.

For more information please refer to

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About Nautilus Minerals Inc.

Nautilus is the first company to explore the ocean floor for polymetallic seafloor massive sulphide deposits. Nautilus was granted the first mining lease for such deposits at the prospect known as Solwara 1, in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea, where it is aiming to produce copper, gold and silver. The company has also been granted its environmental permit for this site.

Nautilus also holds approximately 500,000 km2 of highly prospective exploration acreage in the western Pacific; in PNG, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga, as well as in international waters in the eastern Pacific.

A Canadian registered company, Nautilus is listed on the TSX:NUS stock exchange and OTCQX:NUSMF. Its corporate office is in Brisbane, Australia. Its major shareholders include MB Holding Company LLC, an Oman based group with interests in mining, oil & gas, which holds a 28.00% interest, Metalloinvest, the largest iron ore producer in Europe and the CIS, which has a 20.75% holding and global mining group Anglo American, which holds a 5.95% interest.

Cautionary Statements

Certain of the statements made in this news release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities law. Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information include, but are not limited to statements or information with respect to the mineral resources of the company. We have made numerous assumptions about the forward-looking statements and information contained herein. Please refer to the company's most recently filed Annual Information Form in respect of material assumptions and risks relevant to forward looking information. Even though our management believes the assumptions made and the expectations represented by such statements or information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking statement or information will prove to be accurate. Forward-looking statements and information by their nature involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors include, among others, the risk that the amount of metals contained in the company's deposits may differ from estimates of resources. Should one or more of these risks, uncertainties or other factors materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in forward-looking statements and information. Although we have attempted to identify factors that would cause actual results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements and information, there may be other factors that cause actual results, performances, achievements or events to not be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Also, many of the factors are beyond our control. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements or information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information. Except as required by law, we do not expect to update forward-looking statements and information as conditions change and you are referred to the full discussion of the Company's business contained in the Company's reports filed with the securities regulatory authorities in Canada.

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