TORONTO, ONTARIO, Jul 29, 2015 (Marketwired via COMTEX) -- Nautilus Minerals Inc. (NUS)(otcqx:NUSMF) (the "Company" or "Nautilus") announces that contract for the detailed design of the Solwara 1 dewatering plant to be used on the Company's Production Support Vessel has been awarded to the Brisbane office of the DRA Group ("DRA").
Mike Johnston, Nautilus' CEO, commented, "the Project team has been working closely with DRA for several years on studies and early engineering. DRA has extensive experience with similar floating dewatering/mineral processing facilities in related offshore industries. We are pleased to have them utilize this experience when they carry out the detailed design for our on board processing facilities."
DRA's regional director, Donald Holley, commented, "it is pleasing for us to be able to apply DRA's previous experience in designing vessel-mounted process plants to the Solwara 1 Project. This special experience has been gained from our off-shore diamond recovery projects off the coast of south west Africa. It includes overcoming the challenges in designing and operating process plants mounted on ships resulting particularly from the impact of the dynamic environment from wave movement, and the need for modular construction."
About the detailed design work for the dewatering plant
The scope of work awarded to DRA involves the detailed design of the vessel-mounted material processing facilities. With a design capacity of 400 t/h, the plant will include screening the Seafloor Massive Sulphides into a number of size fractions, followed by dewatering using centrifuges and filter presses, eventually filtering to 8 microns. The combined dewatered product will then be temporarily stored in the vessel's hold, prior to transshipment via Handimax vessels to our processing partner in China. The remaining filtered water is then returned via the enclosed riser system to drive the subsea lift pump and discharged within 50m of the seafloor from where it originally came. (See figure 1.)
The detailed design phase is expected to be completed in Q4 2015, following which the vessel-mounted modules will be fabricated and pre-commissioned onshore prior to integration onto the completed vessel. Fabrication of the process plant is expected to commence in early 2016; with first production from the Solwara 1 Project being scheduled for 2018.
DRA is a global multi-disciplinary engineering group which delivers mining, minerals processing and infrastructure services from concept to commissioning in addition to comprehensive operations and maintenance services. The Company has offices and operations in Africa, Australia, Canada, China, Europe, India, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the USA. DRA provides highly flexible services, allowing it to meet the needs of multinational mining companies as well as junior and emerging producers. Its expertise covers a wide range of commodities including gold, platinum, coal, ferrous metals, diamonds, graphite, uranium, base metals, fertilizer minerals and rare earths.
An animation of how the seafloor production system works can be viewed on the Company's website: www.nautilusminerals.com/s/Investors-MediaCoverage.asp
For more information please refer to www.nautilusminerals.com.
Neither the TSX nor the OTCQX accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.
Certain of the statements made in this news release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including statements with respect to the design and operation of the dewatering plant, the expected timing of construction and completion of the vessel and plans for advancing the Solwara 1 Project (the "Project") towards production in 2018. We have made numerous assumptions about such statements, including assumptions relating to the funding, completion and operation of the Company's seafloor production system. Even though our management believes the assumptions made and the expectations represented by such statements are reasonable, there can be no assurance that they will prove to be accurate. Forward-looking information by its nature involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Please refer to our most recently filed Annual Information Form in respect of material assumptions and risks related to the prospects of extracting minerals from the seafloor and other risks relating to the Company's business and plans for development of the Project. With respect to the design and operation of the dewatering plant, the Company is assuming that the dewatering plant and vessel will be built and operate according to the Nautilus specifications and on schedule. Risks related to such arrangement include the delay to the delivery of the vessel and a consequent delay to the commencement of mining at the Project site, and the risk that the vessel's systems will not operate as intended due to equipment failures and other general risks associated with marine-based operations. Risks related to advancing the Project towards production in 2018 include the risk that the Company will be unable to obtain at all or on acceptable terms the remaining financing necessary to fund completion of the build and deployment of the Company's seafloor production system. As the Company has not completed an economic study in respect of the Project, there can be no assurance that the Company's production plans will, if fully funded and implemented, successfully demonstrate that seafloor resource production is commercially viable. Except as required by law, we do not expect to update forward-looking statements and information as conditions change and you are referred to the full discussion of the Company's business contained in the Company's reports filed with the securities regulatory authorities in Canada.
About Nautilus Minerals Inc.
Nautilus is the first company to explore the ocean floor for polymetallic seafloor massive sulphide deposits. Nautilus was granted the first mining lease for such deposits at the prospect known as Solwara 1, in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea, where it is aiming to produce copper, gold and silver. The company has also been granted its environmental permit for this site.
Nautilus also holds approximately 420,000 km2 of highly prospective exploration acreage in the western Pacific; in PNG, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga, as well as in international waters in the eastern Pacific.
A Canadian registered company, Nautilus is listed on the TSX:NUS stock exchange and trades on the OTCQX:NUSMF. Its corporate office is in Brisbane, Australia. Its major shareholders include MB Holding Company LLC, an Oman based group with interests in mining, oil & gas, which holds a 28.14% interest, Metalloinvest, the largest iron ore producer in Europe and the CIS, which has a 20.89% holding and global mining group Anglo American, which holds a 5.99% interest (each on a non-diluted basis, excluding loan shares outstanding under the Company's share loan plan).
Contacts: Investor Relations Nautilus Minerals Inc. (Toronto) +1 (416) 551 1100 firstname.lastname@example.org www.nautilusminerals.com Principal American Liaison Cowen and Company 599 Lexington Avenue New York, NY 10022 email@example.com
SOURCE: Nautilus Minerals Inc.
(C) 2015 Marketwire L.P. All rights reserved.