Nautilus Minerals Inc. (the "Company" or "Nautilus") is pleased to announce that it has signed a contract with the TSMarine Group of Companies ("TSMarine") under which TSMarine has agreed to provide drilling services in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea starting in October 2010. The drilling program will focus on improving the resource and geotechnical understanding at Solwara 1 as well as scout drilling at other prospects on the Company's 100% owned tenements in the Bismarck Sea.
TSMarine will provide the vessel, operating crew, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and drilling equipment. The contract has a minimum value of approximately US$7 million, with options to extend based on success. TSMarine will use Rovdrill 3, a second generation seafloor drilling system, with the ability to drill 70mm core wireline holes up to 80 metres deep.
Stephen Rogers, Nautilus' CEO commented: "The Rovdrill 3 gives Nautilus the capability to more fully test the resource potential of our Seafloor Massive Sulphide systems in the Bismarck Sea. The drilling spread will also collect geotechnical data to optimise equipment design and extend the mine plan at Solwara 1."
TSMarine is an Australian owned subsea oil and gas contractor providing a range of specialist services in deepwater construction, rigless intervention, and systems decommissioning. TSMarine will use Seafloor Geoservices as drilling subcontractor. Seafloor Geoservices is part of the Triton Group, and provides specialist offshore geotechnical and mineral exploration drilling services. Triton subsidiary, Perry Slingsby Systems, designed and built the original Rovdrill systems that completed the successful 2007 Solwara 1 drilling campaign.