Nautilus Minerals Inc.
AIM : NUS
TSX : NUS

Nautilus Minerals Inc.

December 12, 2008 10:48 ET

Nautilus Minerals Inc.: Discovery Identifies Potential New SMS District in Papua New Guinea

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 12, 2008) - Nautilus Minerals Inc. (TSX:NUS)(AIM:NUS) (the "Company" or "Nautilus") has been advised by Teck of the discovery of a new Seafloor Massive Sulphide ("SMS") system - Solwara 11, on a Nautilus Exploration License ("EL") in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea ("PNG").

"Solwara 11 represents an important milestone for Nautilus because it is a potential lead into a new mineralised district. The system is located more than 300km away from the nearest known SMS system. This discovery highlights the potential of Nautilus' large land package and the ability of modern exploration techniques to find mineralised systems quickly," commented Stephen Rogers, Nautilus' CEO.

Teck, working under their earn-in option to certain Nautilus ELs, has submitted a report detailing the discovery of Solwara 11. This press release compiles results reported by Teck. Work was completed from the DEA Surveyor, a 61m long vessel, on exploration license EL1647. Samples were recovered from the seafloor of the Willaumez district at water depths ranging from 1300 - 1500m (see Figures 1 and 2 for the location of Solwara 11 and Table 1 for assay results).

Figure 1 -

www.nautilusminerals.com/i/misc/Location%20of%20Solwara%2011%20Prospect.jpg

Figure 2 -

www.nautilusminerals.com/i/misc/Solwara%2011%20Sample%20Location%20Map.jpg

Teck has reported that:

- Sulphide outcrops up to 10m high have been mapped using video camera and sonar instruments from a Remotely Operated Vehicle ("ROV") protruding from a base of predominantly pillow basalts.

- Solwara 11 comprises of at least three defined metal-bearing chimney fields plus other associated iron/manganese oxide and/or silica-iron sulphide zones. These demonstrate a broad hydrothermal alteration system within an area of approximately 2.8km x 2km.

- Chimney fields are largely inactive except one where hot water was observed.

- This discovery resulted from multibeam, backscatter, and water-column physical and chemical data collected from Teck cruises in the Bismarck Sea during April and June 2008. This information was used to define an exploration program that targeted areas with the greatest prospectivity.



Table 1 : Laboratory Results - Mineralised Samples

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cu Zn Au Ag Pb Easting Northing
SAMPLE (%) (%) (g/t) (g/t) (%) (i) (i) Description
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
less Semi-massive
than sulphides
MB2015 0.1 0.1 0.6 171 0.1 519792 9652264 (pyrite - silica)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
less less Disseminated
than than sulphides
MB2018 0.1 2.6 0.1 6 0.1 521226 9649971 (Volcanic Breccia)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
MB2030 0.2 5.3 2.0 305 0.5 521209 9650106 Semi-massive
sulphide
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
MB2031 0.3 20.0 2.0 258 1.2 521202 9650046 Massive sulphide
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
MB2032 0.1 3.8 1.2 334 3.4 521223 9650014 Semi-massive
sulphide
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
MB2033 0.4 0.5 1.3 415 1.0 521210 9650068 Massive sulphide
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
MB2034 0.1 1.3 0.2 38 0.1 521157 9650130 Oxide sample
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
MB2041 23.8 0.4 0.3 42 0.1 521183 9650169 Massive sulphide
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
MB2042 0.3 4.1 1.9 282 0.5 521234 9650174 Massive sulphide
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
MB2036 0.5 11.3 1.3 79 0.5 520421 9649891 Massive sulphide
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
MB2038 1.0 31.2 1.2 148 0.4 520485 9649868 Massive sulphide
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
less Massive
than sulphide
MB2053 0.1 0.1 1.2 236 0.1 521790 9650974 (pyrite - silica)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
MB2055 0.1 0.3 2.1 471 0.4 521845 9650992 Massive sulphide
(pyrite - silica)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Disseminated
less less sulphides
than than (silica +/-
MB2057 0.1 0.4 0.1 8 0.1 520943 9651404 pyrite)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
MB2058 1.0 10.0 1.6 420 12.7 520920 9651354 Massive sulphide
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
MB2059 0.2 46.6 0.6 340 0.7 520878 9651271 Massive sulphide
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
MB2060 1.4 21.8 0.5 73 0.6 520812 9651288 Massive sulphide
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
(i)Easting and Northing Coordinates are projected as UTM zone 55 south
using a WGS 1984 datum


Sampling:

Pieces of sulphide chimneys averaging 1.4kg (from 0.38kg to 3.93kg) were collected from the seafloor using a manipulator arm mounted on the ROV (Remora III - 25 hp). Samples were placed in a sample basket on the front of the ROV and then sub-sampled on board the ship. Sample selection targeted material that was considered representative of the SMS system. Representative sub-samples for analysis were taken from the larger samples using either a hammer or rock saw. 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".

Sample Custodianship:

All sampling, sample handling and analysis was completed under the supervision of Teck personnel. Sampling was carried out aboard the DEA Surveyor whilst at sea. All sub-samples were placed into numbered calico bags. The bagged samples were then subsequently placed into larger polyweave bags and then finally placed into sealable plastic containers for secure transportation.

Quality Assurance:

External certified geochemical reference materials (prepared by Geostats Pty Ltd, of Perth, Western Australia) along with blank samples were interspersed at regular intervals between the samples submitted for analysis.

These reference materials comprised of "standards", with known and statistically tested concentrations of the major base and precious metals. Evaluations of these standards indicate that the quality of the analyses is within acceptable limits.

Qualified Person:

The exploration results reported in this announcement have been compiled from information provided to Nautilus by Teck, 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 and has over 20 years experience in mining and exploration geology. He is a qualified person as defined under National Instrument 43-101 and consents to his name being used in this release.

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 positioning itself to become an emerging producer in 2010. 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%). Epion (21%) is controlled by the founder of Metalloinvest one of the largest and fastest growing mining and metallurgical holdings in Russia.

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
    Nautilus Minerals Inc.
    Australian Project Office
    +61 (7) 3318 5555
    or
    Numis Securities Limited
    John Harrison
    Nominated Adviser
    + 44(0) 20 7260 1000
    or
    Numis Securities Limited
    James Black
    Corporate Broking
    + 44(0) 20 7260 1000