SMD are pleased to announce the award of a contract by Nautilus Minerals Inc for the supply of two Seafloor Mining Tools (SMT). The contract is worth in excess of £30 million, making it one of SMD's largest, and will run until early 2010.
The scope of supply is for two seafloor mining systems comprising the SMT, umbilical systems, surface power and control system and a single deck handling system.
The SMT is a novel design for recovering ore which is found in massive sulphide deposits in rugged terrain. However, it draws on much of the technology that SMD has developed in recent projects for three trenching systems, all of which exceed 2 MW installed power.
SMD Managing Director, John Reece, commented "We are very pleased to be awarded this prestigious contract. It will be a world first in an emerging and very exciting market. We look forward to working closely with Nautilus over the coming months to develop the system".
The system will be designed and manufactured at SMD's Turbinia Works on the banks of the Tyne in North East England. It will then be integrated into the vessel in South East Asia in late 2009 and initial mining operations at Nautilus's Solwara 1 field will commence in 2010.
SMD is one of the world's leading companies for the supply of ROVs, trenching systems, Curvetech™ components and special projects. They have a worldwide customer base operating in markets in oil and gas, telecoms, mining, salvage, military and scientific research.
Nautilus is the first company to commercially explore the ocean floor for gold and copper seafloor massive sulphide deposits and is positioned to become an emerging producer in 2010. The Company's main focus for 2008 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 three of the world's largest international resource companies, including Epion (22.9%), Anglo American (5.8%) and Teck Cominco (5.3%).