Nautilus Minerals Inc.: Vessel Contract for Solwara 1 Development Signed
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – June 20, 2008) – Nautilus Minerals Inc. (TSX:NUS)(AIM:NUS) (the “Company” or “Nautilus”) announces that it has entered into a binding agreement with North Sea Shipping Holding AS (“North Sea Shipping”) to provide the specialist Mining Support Vessel (“MSV”) for Nautilus’ Solwara 1 Project in Papua New Guinea. North Sea Shipping is a leading Norwegian ship owner and operator in the offshore oil and gas industry. They will provide a 160m dynamically postioned specialist new build ship, on a five year charter basis with options to extend for another five years.
Stephen Rogers, Nautilus’ CEO commented: “The MSV award is a key milestone for the Solwara 1 Project. Our exhaustive and highly competitive selection process has yielded an excellent MSV which could not be a better match to the specified requirements. The working relationship developed with North Sea Shipping through the negotiation process has created a solid foundation for the future. The MSV award keeps Nautilus on track for commencement of production in 2010, subject to timely permitting and approvals.”
North Sea Shipping was selected from a short list after a competitive engineering evaluation. The build of the hull is already well advanced at one of Turkey’s leading shipbuilders RMK Marine, based in Tuzla south of Istanbul. On completion of hull fabrication in July 2009, the vessel will be outfitted by Astilleros Barreras, at its Vigo yard in Northern Spain, with completion scheduled in June 2010.
The 160m vessel is 30m wide, has a draft of 7m and displacement of 14,200 tonnes. It has some outstanding features which make it ideal as a candidate for seafloor mining. These include a 400 tonne heave compensated crane which is capable of working at 2,500m water depth and total installed power of 21 MW which will allow it to satisfy both ship and mining equipment demands. The vessel can accommodate 120 people which is more than adequate for the marine and mining crew and has a deck area of 2,900m2 which will accomodate the mining equipment.
The value of the MSV contract is approximately US$125 million over the initial five year period.
About North Sea Shipping.
North Sea Shipping is a leading ship owner based outside Bergen on the west coast of Norway. This family owned business has been operating ocean going vessels for several generations and support vessels in the oil and gas industry since 1980. Today North Sea shipping is actively involved in sixteen vessels operating in the oil and gas sector as well as the cable laying business. For more information please see www.northsea.no.
About Nautilus Minerals Inc.
Nautilus is the first company to commercially explore the ocean floor for gold and copper seafloor massive sulphide deposits and subject to timely permitting is positioning itself to become an emerging producer in 2010. The Company’s main focus is the Solwara 1 Project, which is located in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea in the western Pacific Ocean. Nautilus is listed on the TSX and on AIM, and has among its largest shareholders two of the world’s leading international resource companies, Teck Cominco (7.2%) and Anglo American (5.7%). Epion (22.4%) is controlled by the founder of Metalloinvest one of the largest and fastest growing mining and metallurgical holdings in Russia.
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