Nautilus Minerals Inc.
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Nautilus Minerals Inc.

February 11, 2011 10:28 ET

Nautilus Unveils a Second High Grade Copper Deposit in Bismarck Sea

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 11, 2011) - Nautilus Minerals Inc. (TSX:NUS)(AIM:NUS) has identified a second potential development project in the Bismarck Sea in Papua New Guinea, to follow its groundbreaking Solwara 1 project currently in the final stages of planning.

A deepwater exploration drilling campaign carried out at the Solwara 12 prospect, just 25 kilometres northwest of Solwara 1, discovered intersections of mineralisation at all five drill sites. The drilling involved six holes drilled approximately 1900 metres below sea-level and extending to a maximum depth of 35 metres below the seafloor (see Figures 1 and 2).

Preliminary results based on hand held X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analysis of drill core included:

  • a 7.33 metre intersect averaging 13.2% copper and 6.1% zinc
  • a 7.50 metre intersect averaging 9.3% copper and 6.0% zinc
  • a 5.29 metre intersect averaging 11.4% copper and 1.4% zinc

(XRF results are subject to confirmation by laboratory assay).

Nautilus' CEO Steve Rogers said the success of the initial drilling at Solwara 12 was a major step in the implementation of the company's strategy of developing a pipeline of projects in the Bismarck Sea.

"Previous grab-sampling has identified 16 Seafloor Massive Sulphide (SMS) systems in the Bismarck Sea. Through the current drilling campaign, Nautilus has now brought the Solwara 12 prospect into the potential project pipeline to follow Solwara 1. This is a key step in the implementation of our business model which allows us to aggregate resources at successive locations with minimal incremental capital expenditure," he said.

Upon the completion of the initial drilling program at Solwara 12 earlier this month, the drilling vessel REM Etive has moved to Solwara 5, after which it is scheduled to return to Solwara 1 to carry out additional exploration and geotechnical drilling. Before demobilising, REM Etive will travel back to Solwara 12 to conduct follow-up drilling with the aim of establishing a resource. Solwara 12 remains open in all directions.

A summary of results from the drilling at Solwara 12 is included in Table 1 below. Full details are presented in Table 3 (see links section).

Table 1 - Selected mineralised intersections for Solwara 12 (based on XRF analysis of pulp residues).

               
Hole ID From
(m)
To
(m)
Length
(m)
Recovery
(%)
Cu
(%)
Zn
(%)
Comment
SD_S12_001 1.47 3.04 1.57 66 5.4 4.2 Interval open at depth.
SD_S12_002 1.86 3.79 1.93 53 8.9 0.1 Interval contains significant core loss.
SD_S12_003 0.31 3.32 3.01 96 4.7 12.2 Intervals separated by core loss with minor recovery.
5.32 6.42 1.10 55 12.2 7.5
8.09 8.62 0.53 100 4.7 0.6
SD_S12_004 0.81 6.10 5.29 59 11.4 1.4 Intervals separated by low-grade and barren alteration. Final interval open at depth.
13.56 16.13 2.57 50 8.8 7.9
SD_S12_006 3.70 11.20 7.50 39 9.3 6.0 Intervals contain significant core loss and are separated by low-grade and barren alteration.
25.41 28.90 3.49 56 4.2 0.0
SD_S12_007 4.50 4.71 0.21 100 29.4 0.2 Intervals separated by significant core loss.
5.97 6.37 0.40 100 12.7 26.2
8.03 15.36 7.33 67 13.2 6.1

Note – SD_S12_005 was drilled 3km to the Northeast, on an outlying target, it did not encounter any mineralisation.

Assay Results for Solwara 1

In addition to the preliminary drilling results for Solwara 12, Nautilus has received certified assay results for drilling carried out at Solwara 1 earlier this year.

The results, which follow on from laboratory assays completed by laboratories of SGS Australia Pty Ltd released on January 25, 2011 (see Link 1) continue to highlight significant mineralisation:

  • a 7.85 metre intercept averaging 10.2% copper and 3.4 g/t gold
  • a 5.48 metre intercept averaging 14.9% copper and 6.5 g/t gold
  • a 7.63 metre intercept averaging 8.9% copper and 5.3 g/t gold
  • Individual samples reported gold grades of up to 21.6 g/t and copper grades up to 24.3%

A summary of the results for Solwara 1 are outlined in Table 2 below. Full details are presented in Table 4 (see links section).

Table 2 – Selected mineralised intersections from Solwara 1 (based on laboratory assay results from holes SD171 and SD174 to SD187)

                   
Hole ID From
(m)
To
(m)
Length
(m)
Reco-
very
(%)
Au
(g/t)
Ag
(g/t)
Cu
(%)
Zn
(%)
Comment
SD171 1.93 10.45 8.52 63 4.2 13.2 4.1 0.1 Interval is open to depth.
SD174 0.80 3.57 2.77 32 4.8 23.6 12.2 0.2 Interval is dominated by core loss.
SD175 2.44 4.53 2.09 100 6.8 26.4 5.9 0.1  
SD176 1.14 11.19 10.05 87 3.5 14.9 3.8 0.1  
11.21 18.24 7.03 80 1.5 1.7 0.6 0.0 Gold intersect below copper zone. Open at depth.
SD177 1.06 8.55 7.49 67 2.9 13.0 4.6 0.4 Intervals separated by core loss.
12.25 20.10 7.85 70 3.4 7.3 10.2 0.0
SD178 1.38 2.16 0.78 100 9.6 76.1 9.7 0.9 Intervals separated by core loss.
4.76 5.20 0.44 100 4.1 8.0 9.5 0.6
7.05 9.72 2.67 71 4.3 26.8 11.5 3.3
SD179 2.08 3.99 1.91 85 11.0 64.0 19.8 1.1 Intervals separated by core loss.
6.11 6.46 0.35 100 21.6 34.0 6.3 0.7
8.30 8.77 0.47 100 4.1 8.0 24.3 0.1
10.58 16.06 5.48 62 6.5 3.0 14.9 0.0
17.40 17.99 0.59 100 0.8 1.0 1.4 0.0
18.92 19.17 0.25 100 2.5 1.0 5.4 0.0
SD180 0.72 8.35 7.63 51 5.3 8.6 8.9 0.3 Interval separated by core loss and individual intervals contain significant core loss.
14.75 16.25 1.50 51 1.9 1.0 10.0 0.0
SD182 1.28 4.38 3.10 71 4.3 43.4 6.9 0.1  
SD183 0.25 1.64 1.39 71 3.8 71.6 9.1 2.1 Intervals separated by low-grade and barren alteration.
8.94 9.83 0.89 100 0.3 1.0 4.9 0.1
SD184 0.35 4.44 4.09 89 5.0 38.6 10.7 1.1 Interval is open to depth.
SD185 0.50 1.13 0.63 100 5.5 7.0 7.5 0.5 Interval is open to depth.
SD186 0.45 9.39 8.94 99 2.0 7.1 3.2 1.2  
9.39 23.75 14.36 84 1.5 1.6 0.7 0.5 Gold intersect below copper zone.
24.64 29.00 4.36 60 1.9 1.0 7.9 0.0 High-angle vein ~ 65deg to core axis - not true width.
SD187 0.84 5.05 4.21 43 4.5 20.5 9.2 2.0 Interval is dominated by core loss; open at depth.

SD172 and SD173 were reported in press release dated January 25, 2011 (see Link 1).

REM Etive Drilling Program

Nautilus has been drilling since mid November on board the vessel REM Etive, using the ROVdrill3 drilling system (see Link 2 and Link 3). TSMarine is providing the vessel, operating crew, Remotely Operated Vehicles and drilling equipment required for the project. The ROVdrill3 drilling system is a wireline diamond drill designed to recover up to 80 meters of 70mm diameter core.

Further details of Solwara 12

The Solwara 12 prospect is located in EL1374, 25 km northwest of Solwara 1, and was discovered by Nautilus Minerals during the Fugro Solstice exploration program in 2009. Plume hunting surveys during Phase A of the Fugro Solstice program identified several water column anomalies over the DESMOS Caldera target area. Follow-up ROV traversing across DESMOS Caldera during Phase B of the program led to the discovery of Solwara 12 on the SE rim of the caldera. Solwara 12 includes an area of inactive sulphide chimney structures approximately 180 x 170m across. Additional ROV-based geophysical surveys indicated both an electromagnetic and a self-potential anomaly within this zone.

Links:

Previous Press Releases

Link 1: http://www.nautilusminerals.com/s/Media-NewsReleases.asp?ReportID=439322

Link 2: http://www.nautilusminerals.com/s/Media-NewsReleases.asp?ReportID=433715

Link 3: http://www.nautilusminerals.com/s/Media-NewsReleases.asp?ReportID=436480

Link 4: http://www.nautilusminerals.com/s/Media-NewsReleases.asp?ReportID=370349

Figures

Figure 1: http://www.nautilusminerals.com/i/pdf/LocationOfProspects11Feb2011.pdf

Figure 2: http://www.nautilusminerals.com/i/pdf/DrillHolesandXRFSol1211Feb2011.pdf

Figure 3: http://www.nautilusminerals.com/i/pdf/DrillHolesSol111Feb2011.pdf

Tables

Table 3 - Listing of all intersections and core recovery at Solwara 12 from hole SD_S12_001 to SD_S12_007: http://www.nautilusminerals.com/i/pdf/Table3PR11Feb2011.pdf

Table 4: Laboratory assays available to date for Solwara 1 for Au, Ag, Cu, Zn and Pb (not covered by results in press release from January 25, 2011 (See link 1)): http://www.nautilusminerals.com/i/pdf/Table4PR11Feb2011.pdf

Technical Information

Detailed information on the drilling program, sampling procedures and XRF analysis was reported previously in the news release of December 16, 2010 (see Link 2).

Selection of Reported Intervals in Drilling Trials

Intervals were selected for reporting based on handheld XRF analysis or laboratory analysis of pulverised quarter-core samples returned >3% Cu, >9% Zn or >3g/t Au. Some lower-grade samples have been included within an interval if they did not reduce the overall grade of the interval to less than 3% Cu, 9% Zn or 3g/t Au. Intervals were broken where there was a length of core loss judged sufficient to lose continuity within the interval. Core loss is believed to be a grinding and loss of material similar to that which has been recovered. Zones of core loss within an interval were assigned the average grade of the recovered material either side of the core loss. Zones of core loss external to recovered material were not included in any calculated interval. All reported values within the interval are length-weighted averages of individual samples.

Laboratory Analysis

Detailed information on the laboratory analysis was reported previously in the news release of January 25, 2011 (see Link 1).

Qualified Person

The exploration results reported in this announcement have been compiled under the supervision of Nautilus' Resource Leader Thomas Sant. Mr Sant a Fellow of the Geological Society of London, a UK Chartered Geologist and a registered European Geologist, has over 16 years experience in mineral exploration seeking hydrothermal systems, and is a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Sant has reviewed and approved the technical disclosure contained in this news release.

About Nautilus Minerals Inc.

Nautilus is the first company to commercially explore the ocean floor for polymetallic seafloor massive sulphide deposits and is currently developing its first project at Solwara 1, in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea in the western Pacific Ocean. Nautilus is listed on the TSX and AIM stock exchanges, and has among its largest shareholders two of the world's leading international resource companies Anglo American (11.1%) and Teck Resources (6.8%), as well as Metalloinvest, one of the largest and fastest growing mining and metallurgical holding companies in Russia, which beneficially owns 21.0% of the company's issued shares through Gazmetall Holding (Cyprus) Limited.

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