World’s first commercial electromagnetic survey of seafloor copper-gold sulphides

Nautilus Minerals continues to cross new technological frontiers, below the ocean. In  another significant development in its seafloor massive sulphide exploration program it has undertaken the world’s first commercial seafloor electromagnetic (EM) survey of copper-gold massive sulphide deposits. A total of 52 line-km of EM data were recently acquired from a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) operating in 1,500 m water depth at Nautilus’s Solwara 1 Project, in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea.

Nautilus, together with its shareholder Teck Cominco, have partnered with the Vancouver based Ocean Floor Geophysics to develop, deploy and protect the intellectual property associated with the deep-ocean electromagnetic technology. After solving the problems associated with inducing measurable fields from within the conductive sea-water environment Nautilus and its partners have shown the EM method can be used not only by airplane and helicopter over land, but also by ROV on the seafloor for the detection of massive sulphide systems.

The survey at Solwara 1 clearly showed an anomaly coincident with the mineralisation tested by recent drilling, confirming the effectiveness of the EM technique to detect the presence of massive sulphide systems on the seafloor. This EM data adds value to the current diamond drilling program and the evaluation of future prospects by accurately delineating near-surface massive-sulphide boundaries.

David Heydon, Nautilus CEO commented: “Whilst the survey data are still being processed, Nautilus has already identified a series of EM anomalies that are peripheral to the area tested in this current drilling program opening up the potential for the discovery of further massive sulphide mineralisation – potentially extending the main Solwara 1 zone. We plan to follow up these anomalies in our 2008 field program and with the success of this program, propose to conduct EM surveys over our other projects. Nautilus has identified eight Solwara projects to date.”

Nautilus is the first company to commercially explore the ocean floor for high grade gold-copper-zinc-silver seafloor massive sulphide deposits Its main focus for 2007 is the Solwara 1 Project, located in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea between the island chains of New Britain and New Ireland in the western Pacific Ocean.