TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 10, 2014) - Nautilus Minerals Inc. (TSX:NUS) (OTCQX:NUSMF) (the "Company" or "Nautilus") announces that assembly of the Bulk Cutter (BC), which is the first of the Seafloor Production Tools (SPTs), has been completed.
Nautilus' CEO, Mike Johnston said "This is a major milestone for the Company, having the first of the three SPTs assembled. This achievement brings the Company all the closer to making seafloor mining a reality."
Subsea vehicle designer and manufacturer, Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd (SMD) of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, is the company responsible for building the SPTs for Nautilus. SMD are experts in the "marinization" of mechanical, hydraulic, electric and electronic equipment for use in a subsea environment (water and pressure immersion). SMD uses this skill set as the basis of much of its existing product line in remotely operated vehicles and subsea trenchers. Nautilus is proud to be able to utilize their vast experience in the design, manufacture and testing of our SPTs.
The BC is the heaviest of the three SPTs, weighing 310 tonnes when fully assembled. It is designed to be the high productivity machine responsible for the bulk of production.
Some world class companies have been involved in the design of the SPTs:
- The cutting drum of the BC was designed and built by Sandvik (Austria), a world leader in hard-rock mechanized mining and rock cutting equipment. The designs are based on similar designs used on large continuous miner machines used in underground mining and construction.
- The track sets for all three SPTs have been designed and built by Caterpillar, based on an existing Caterpillar excavator track design. Modification to the track set for subsea operation and required cutting duty was completed by SMD in consultation with Caterpillar and Sandvik.
- The dredge pumps for all three SPTs have been supplied by Damen, one of the world's leading dredge equipment suppliers and are based on existing catalogue designs used in the dredging industry.
- The hydraulic equipment for all three SPTs is based on existing off-the-shelf Bosch Rexroth hydraulic equipment, with adaptations by SMD.
- The flexible hoses for all three SPTs have been designed and supplied by ContiTech AG (Germany), and are very similar to the rubber hoses used in the dredging industry.
Companies and institutions involved in the simulations and test work of the BC include CSIRO, Cellula Robotics, Deltares, Istanbul Technical University, ContiTech Oil & Marine Corp and Paterson & Cooke Consulting.
Nautilus' CEO, Mike Johnston said "We are proud to have such world class companies and institutions involved in the design and testing of these tools. The next step is to carry out commissioning and acceptance testing of the BC in parallel with assembling the other two production tools, the Auxiliary Cutter and the Collecting Machine."
How they will work
The excavation and collection has been split into three individual tasks which will each be carried out by a different vehicle. The Auxiliary Cutter is designed as the pioneering machine which prepares the rugged sea bed for the more powerful Bulk Cutter. These two machines gather the excavated material; the third vehicle, the Collecting Machine will collect the cut material by drawing it in as seawater slurry with internal pumps and pushing it thought a flexible pipe to the subsea pump and on to the production ship via a riser system.
An animation of the production system and a video showing the assembly of the BC can be viewed on the Company's website: www.nautilusminerals.com/s/Investors-MediaCoverage.asp
Picture of the Bulk Cutter: http://www.nautilusminerals.com/i/photos/bulk_cutter_web.jpg
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.
Neither the TSX nor the OTCQX accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.
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 assembly and planned operation of the Auxiliary Cutter and the Collecting Machine, and future mining by 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. Should one or more of the risks, uncertainties or other factors listed in the Company's Annual Information Form 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 not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Also, many of the factors are beyond our control. 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.