Nautilus Minerals Inc.

Nautilus Minerals Inc.

November 11, 2011 08:30 ET

Nautilus Reports Solid Third Quarter Results

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 11, 2011) - Nautilus Minerals Inc. (TSX:NUS)(AIM:NUS) continued to make steady progress in the development of its pioneering seafloor copper/gold project in the September quarter of 2011, and remains on track to commence production in the final quarter of 2013.

The company completed the quarter with a cash balance of US$155.1 million, after successfully raising C$70.5 million in the first tranche of a C$98.1 million capital raising. The final tranche of C$27.6 million was received in October. The capital raising involved the issue of approximately 39 million shares at C$2.52 per share.

The funds raised are being used for the construction of a seafloor resource production system, which initially will be deployed at the Solwara 1 project in the Bismarck Sea of Papua New Guinea - the company's first deepwater copper and gold project.

As a result of the successful financing, the Board of Nautilus formally sanctioned the Solwara 1 project.

During the quarter, we continued to work with the PNG Government and Petromin, to finalise contracts and financing arrangements for its 30% holding in the Solwara 1 project.

Project development gathered pace during the quarter, leading to an increase in investment. Net cash invested for the nine months to the end of September totaled US$56.6 million, compared with US$36.4 million at the end of June, with the increase mainly due to purchase of plant and equipment. The loss for the period was US$11.4 million, reflecting the fact that that the company remains in the development phase, and has not yet commenced revenue-generating operations.

During the quarter, the following project milestones were achieved:

  • A number of component procurement packages for the riser and associated handling equipment have been awarded, including the main riser system.
  • All major long lead items for the vessel and the seafloor production tools are now being ordered.
  • Factory acceptance testing was undertaken for sub-sea motors, and since September, factory acceptance testing of the main cutting drum for the Bulk Cutter has been completed. The Bulk Cutter is one of three production machines to be utilized on the seafloor.
  • Scale testing of various key components of the production system, including the sub-sea slurry lift pump and the suction device to be used on the seafloor production machines, was successfully concluded.
  • Design of the PSV continued in Germany, with model testing completed. Nautilus has agreed to form a joint venture with Harren & Partner to own and operate the PSV, which will serve as the operational base at Solwara 1. The laying of the keel for the vessel is scheduled for late December, 2011, with vessel delivery scheduled for the first quarter of 2013.

In exploration, Nautilus continued to analyse the results of its Bismarck Sea drilling campaign completed in May, with a view to updating the company's NI43-101 resource through an independent report in preparation by Golder and Associates by year end. The drill program is expected to lead to a significantly enhanced understanding of Solwara 1 geology.

During the quarter, the company also became one of the first private sector organisations to be granted exploration licences in international waters. Nautilus' Tongan subsidiary, Tonga Offshore Mining Ltd, was granted approximately 75,000 km2 of prime exploration territory in the Clarion Clipperton Zone, which lies in international waters between Hawaii and Mexico. As a result of exploration conducted in the 1980s and 90's, the CCZ is known to host significant quantities of polymetallic nodules, containing copper, nickel, manganese and cobalt, lying on the seafloor in water depths starting at 4500 metres.

In addition, in August, Nautilus was granted 14 special prospecting licences in Fijian territorial waters, covering approximately 60,000 km2. Nautilus is the first private sector organisation to be granted offshore exploration permits for deep sea minerals in Fiji.

"The September quarter saw further solid progress in the development of the world's first seafloor resource production project at Solwara 1," said Nautilus CEO Steve Rogers.

"Construction of key components is now advancing rapidly, and our seafloor production equipment is beginning to take shape. We are on track to meet our schedules, and our financial position remains secure following the capital raising in the quarter.

"Our exploration team continues to gather important information to assist us in building our project pipeline." he said.


The Financial Statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis have been filed on and are also available on the Company's website

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 gold, copper and silver. The company has been granted all necessary environmental and mining permits.

Nautilus also holds approximately 600,000 square kilometers 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 and AIM stock exchanges and has its corporate office in Brisbane, Australia. Its major shareholders include Metalloinvest, the largest commercial iron ore producer in Europe and the CIS, which has a 21% holding, and global mining group Anglo American, which holds an 11% interest.

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 date of commencement of production and the delivery of the PSV in 2013. We have made numerous assumptions about the material forward-looking statements and information contained herein, including among other things, the Company's continued compliance with regulatory requirements, the sufficiency of current working capital, the estimated cost and availability of funding for the continued exploration of the company's tenements, a continued productive relationship with the government of PNG, joint venture partners will continue to negotiate with the company and those negotiations will be successfully concluded and the good faith performance of the obligations of counterparties pursuant to contracts with the company. 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 conditions precedent to the agreement with Harren & Partner will not be satisfied, that agreements with Petromin are not successfully concluded or that the exploration and special prospecting licences obtained in the Clarion Clipperton Zone and Fiji respectively are not highly prospective. 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.

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

Contact Information

  • Nautilus Minerals Inc. (Toronto)
    Investor Relations
    +1 (416) 551 1100

    Nautilus Minerals Inc.
    Joe Dowling
    Vice President Investor Relations and Communications
    +61 (7) 3318 5544 or Cell: +61 431 365 741

    Numis Securities Limited
    Stuart Skinner
    Nominated Adviser
    + 44(0) 20 7260 1000

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