Nautilus Minerals Inc. (the "Company" or "Nautilus") is pleased to announce that it has signed a contract with Canyon Offshore Inc. ("Canyon") to provide the vessel, Remote Operated Vehicle ("ROV") and drilling equipment for it's exploration and environmental programs, to be undertaken on the Company's 100% owned Papua New Guinea and Tonga granted exploration titles.
Canyon, a member of the Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc., is a leading service provider to the offshore oil and gas industry. The contract with Canyon allows for a minimum of 165 days on the water, with four 30 day extension options at Nautilus' discretion. The Nor Sky, a DP2 class ROV support ship, will deploy a T200 ROV, the same type of work-class ROV employed by Nautilus and Canyon during the highly successful 2007 exploration programs.
David Heydon, Nautilus' CEO commented: "We are pleased that Canyon's competitive quote for our 2008 exploration program has allowed us to use the same successful teams that discovered and sampled four new Seafloor Massive Sulphide ("SMS") systems in four weeks of target testing in 2007. In 2008 the teams will be adding our improved electromagnetic and geophysical capability to their "tool kits", as well as 75,000 km² of highly prospective ground in Tonga, where researchers have already found in-excess of 12 SMS systems. The combination of this Nautilus managed program with programs being managed by Teck Cominco Ltd ensures Nautilus' shareholders will see aggressive exploration being undertaken in 2008 over most of our 154,000 km² of granted exploration titles. This program will have the potential to increase our resource inventory and deepen our project pipeline as we aim to deliver our mining equipment and commence production in 2010, subject to timely permitting."