Nautilus Minerals Inc. (TSX & AIM: NUS) (the "Company" or "Nautilus") announces it has signed agreements with Fugro to provide exploration services for Nautilus' 2009 programs in Papua New Guinea ("PNG") and the Solomon Islands. The vessel MV Fugro Solstice will be used to expand Nautilus' Seafloor Massive Sulphide ("SMS") prospect inventory within its 100% owned Bismarck, Woodlark (Papua New Guinea) and Solomon Islands exploration licenses.
Stephen Rogers, Nautilus' CEO, commented: "We are very excited by the program we have planned in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands this year. Focusing on building our high grade SMS prospect inventory, we will apply exploration techniques which we have refined each year since 2006. This is the first time we have been supported by Fugro in our exploration effort and we look forward to building a relationship founded on its strong global track record in the mining and oil and gas sectors."
The contract with Fugro is for 124 days of services, mobilising from Singapore on approximately August 10, 2009. Nautilus has options to extend this initial period by up to 98 days. During this time, Fugro will conduct target generation and target testing work. Target generation consists of regional geophysical and geochemical surveys. Target testing consists of detailed geophysical surveys, geological traversing and sampling of SMS prospects with a Remote Operated Vehicle ("ROV"). SMS systems tend to occur in clusters on the seafloor. Amongst its many advantages, seafloor resource production allows the aggregation of resources from multiple mineralised systems without the need for significant additional capital. The primary objective of this program is to discover further mineralised systems to support this business model.
MV Fugro Solstice is a 70.25 metre long, 2,397 tonne, DP2 (dynamically positioned), ROV support vessel built in 2007. It is fitted with both Fugro's own navigation/positioning systems and 3,000 metre capable, permanently installed FCV 3000 ROV. The vessel and ROV will be used to deploy a range of geophysical, geochemical and sampling instruments which represent a further step forward in the advancement of Nautilus' SMS exploration techniques.