Nautilus Minerals has signed a contract with the TSMarine Group of Companies 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 tenements in the Bismarck Sea.
TSMarine will provide the vessel, operating crew, remotely operated vehicles and drilling equipment. The contract has a minimum value of about US$7 million, with options to extend based on success.
It will use Rovdrill 3, a second generation seafloor drilling system, with the ability to drill 70mm core wireline holes up to 80 metres deep.
Nautilus' CEO Stephen Rogers says: “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 optimize 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.
Nautilus is the first company to commercially explore the ocean floor for polymetallic seafloor massive sulphide deposits and is currently developing its first project.
The company's main focus is the Solwara 1 Project, which is in the territorial waters of PNG in the western Pacific Ocean.

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