Nautilus Minerals Inc.

Nautilus Minerals Inc.

November 01, 2012 10:09 ET

Nautilus Minerals Discovers More High Grade Systems in Tonga

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 1, 2012) - Nautilus Minerals Inc. (TSX:NUS)(OTXQC:NUSMF)(AIM:NUS) (the "Company" or "Nautilus Minerals") is pleased to announce the discovery of two (2), high grade, Seafloor Massive Sulfide ("SMS") systems on its wholly owned exploration tenements in the territorial waters of the Kingdom of Tonga ("Tonga").

Grab samples from these discoveries assayed up to 11.9% copper, 59.8% zinc, 28.6 g/t gold and 673 g/t silver.

Mike Johnston, Nautilus Minerals' CEO commented, "These discoveries further highlight the prospectivity of our Tongan exploration tenements, particularly the high precious metal grades we continue to encounter in the NE Lau Basin. They will be added to the 17 SMS systems, as previously reported on our Tongan prospecting licenses*, which are being considered for further evaluation."

The SMS systems were sampled during an 18 day marine scientific research cruise between the 9th and 26th of September 2012. The samples were collected as a part of a broader research effort in the NE Lau Basin.


Figure 1:

Figure 2:

Figure 3:

* Jankowski 2012: "Nautilus Minerals Incorporated, NI43-101 Technical Report 2011, PNG, Tonga, Fiji, Solomon Islands, New Zealand, Vanuatu and the ISA"

Summary of sampling program in NE Lau Basin, Tonga.

1. Fonualei South - Two separate chimney fields, containing high grade sulfide chimney structures were observed and sampled on a large volcanic edifice which consisted of a mixture of some active but mostly inactive chimneys generally up to ~4m high.

The water depth of Fonualei South 1 (Figure 2) is ~965 m. The upper limit of mineralised outcrop appears to follow the bathymetry contour; however the lower boundary remains unmapped. Chimneys are densely packed into clusters with dominant sulfide talus surrounding their bases.

At Fonualei South 2 (Figure 2) ROV observations confirm the presence of chimneys at a water depth of ~1550 m, interpreted from high resolution AUV bathymetry data collected in 2011. This system lies on relatively flat terrain at the base of the Fonualei South volcanic edifice. Two tall black smoker chimneys were measured at this site (25 - 30 m in height). A single sample of chimney talus with exceptional zinc and gold values was collected at the base of a tall chimney (Sample 25113). The outcropping mineralisation was not mapped to its full extent in any direction.

Table 1. Final assay results of sulfide bearing samples for Fonualei South1

Sample No Sample Type Weight (g) Cu
Easting² Northing² Depth² Lithology
25113 Chimney 760 0.866 59.800 28.60 673 758316 8059583 -1570 Massive Sulfide
25114 Chimney 520 4.490 5.650 3.78 31 757294 8058791 -975 Massive Sulfide
25115 Chimney 1100 3.780 43.500 12.90 556 757262 8056949 -964 Massive Sulfide
Minimum 0.9 5.6 3.8 31
Maximum 4.5 59.8 28.6 673
Average 3.0 36.3 15.1 420
1. Results received from ALS Laboratory
2. UTM WGS84 Zone 1 South

2. North Mata - Two separate chimney fields, containing high grade sulfide chimney structures, were observed and sampled on sub-parallel volcanic edifices.

Mata Ua chimney field was observed and sampled on the north western flank of the southern volcanic edifice, at a water depth of ~2360 m (Figure 3). There is copious chimney talus above and below the chimney field containing active black smokers, on a reasonably steep slope. The outcropping mineralisation was not mapped to its full extent; it remains open along strike to the NE and SW.

The Mata Tolu chimneys were first observed in a camera tow in 2010. The recent ROV observations and sampling confirmed the existence of a chimney field, at a water depth of 1820 m, on the summit of the volcanic edifice. A significant quantity of chimney talus was observed at the base of chimney clusters within the chimney field. The outcropping mineralisation was not mapped to its full extent in any direction.

Table 2. Final assay results of sulfide bearing samples for North Mata1

Sample No Sample Type Weight (g) Cu
Easting² Northing² Depth² Lithology
25117 Chimney 250 11.900 6.510 10.25 112 845421 8337243 -2365 Massive Sulfide
25124 Chimney 550 0.947 3.070 10.95 82 844818 8338666 -1824 Semi-massive Sulfide
25125 Chimney 2380 0.286 11.300 9.78 134 844858 8338615 -1820 Semi-massive Sulfide
25126 Chimney 160 3.660 0.878 5.09 37 844877 8338671 -1840 Semi-massive Sulfide
25128 Altered Volcanic 160 1.185 0.694 9.94 34 844853 8338624 -1821 Altered Volcanic
Min 0.3 0.7 5.1 34
Max 11.9 11.3 11.0 134
Average 3.6 4.5 9.2 79.8
1. Results received from ALS Laboratory
2. UTM WGS84 Zone 1 South

Summary of Procedures

The target testing and sampling work described herein was completed using a Quest 4000 Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) equipped with various video cameras and a forward looking sonar to identify seafloor features ahead and to the sides of the ROV, in real time.

For seafloor sampling the ROV was equipped with two manipulator arms and a custom-built sample tray, or "geobox", for storing up to 10 hand-sized grab samples or scoop samples.

1 Target Testing Procedure

Outcropping sulfide mineralisation at each of the four sites was observed using the ROV during target testing traverses. The planned traverses are generally based on features observed in detailed bathymetry maps, augmented by plume hunting data and previous camera tows where possible. When chimney structures are located, using a combination of video and sonar equipment, that area is mapped in greater detail with the ROV and ROV grab samples are collected.

No equipment capable of mapping any mineralisation beneath the seafloor was available on the ROV.

2 Sampling Procedure

Chimney and altered volcanic rock samples averaging 735 g (from 160 g to 1100 g) were collected using the ROV manipulator arm, and then placed in a separate sample cage for recovery to the ship and processing on deck. Relatively fresh chimney samples were collected in a representative part of each field. Nautilus Minerals received a portion of each sulfide- bearing ROV grab sample, the assays of which are the material substance of this release.

Small volcanic samples, which are not material to this release, were also collected using the ROV manipulator arm and placed in the sample box attached to the ROV. The assay results for these un-mineralised volcanic samples are under the custodianship of the collaborating scientists and not yet available for publication.

3 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".

Samples were crushed, split and weighed in preparation for analysis via Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS), Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), and Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES). In addition to the ALS internal standards, duplicates and blanks, Nautilus Minerals included appropriate standards and a duplicate for analysis.

Qualified Person

The exploration results reported in this press release have been compiled under the supervision of Jonathan Lowe, Exploration Manager of Nautilus Minerals. Mr Lowe is a Fellow and Chartered Professional of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, has over 17 years experience in exploration geology, and is a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101. He has read and approved the technical disclosure in this release.

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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 ore resources of the company. We have made numerous assumptions about the material 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.

About Nautilus Minerals Inc.

Nautilus is the first company to explore the ocean floor for polymetallic seafloor massive sulphide deposits and is developing its first project at Solwara 1, in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea, where it is aiming to produce copper, gold and silver. The company has been granted all necessary environmental and mining permits.

Nautilus also holds more than 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 and AIM:NUS stock exchanges and OTCQX:NUSMF. Its corporate office is in Brisbane, Australia. Its major shareholders include Metalloinvest, the largest iron ore producer in Europe and the CIS, which has a 21% holding, global mining group Anglo American, which holds an 11.1% interest and MB Holdings, an Oman based group with interests in mining, oil & gas, which holds a 16.9% interest.

Neither the TSX, London Stock Exchange, nor the OTCQX accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.

Contact Information

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