Nautilus Minerals is taking another step forward in the construction of its seafloor production system, proceeding with an order for the Subsea Slurry Lift Pump (SSLP). It is a key piece of equipment in Nautilus' plan to produce commercial quantities of copper, gold and other metals from the deep ocean.1

The SSLP will pump high grade slurry from the bottom of the riser, at Nautilus' proposed Solwara 1 project in the Bismarck Sea of Papua New Guinea (PNG), to a Production Support Vessel (PSV) floating about 1600 metres above.

The contract for the SSLP was first awarded to GE Oil & Gas in June 2008, but was suspended later that year due to the global financial crisis. With the improvement in economic conditions, and recent major advances in the Solwara 1 project, Nautilus has reinstated the contract.

Nautilus announced earlier this year that it had secured a Mining Lease from the PNG Government, which also had elected to contribute funds to take up a 30% interest in the Solwara 1 project. That was followed by the announcement of a strategic partnership with German shipping company Harren & Partner to provide the PSV.

Nautilus CEO Steve Rogers says, “We are now taking a number of steps to move the Solwara 1 project forward pending final sanction of the project by the Nautilus Board of Directors. By lifting the suspension, we are securing this critical component and ensuring that we meet our project timelines.”

GE Oil & Gas is a leader in advanced technology equipment and services for all segments of the oil and gas industry, from drilling and production, LNG, pipelines and storage to industrial power generation, refining and petrochemicals. GE was awarded the contract to build the SSLP using their Hydril Pressure Control subsea pumping technology.

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