Exploration, engineering and design are all key to the on-shore concentrator plant and the acquisition of the success of a commercial operation to find, assess, extract, necessary land on which to build the plant. transport, smelt and distribute the resultant minerals The sub sea equipment will be connected to and will be expected to come from the SMS deposits. Just as they have serviced by the 191m purpose-built deep sea mining vesassembled an impressive investment war chest, Nautilus sel to be named the Jules Verne. It will be constructed by has retained a similar line up of consultants to provide Belgium based dredging expert Jan De Nul, in 2009. The engineering support for all facets of the operation. Jules Verne will be a dynamically positioned ship that will Engineering consultdeploy mining equiping services are being ment such as pumps provided by Worley and riser pipes as well Parsons. Perry as ROVs and their Slingsby Systems and handling systems. Canyon Offshore have Copper and gold mateprovided the survey, rial will be dredged up ROV systems, and from the seafloor and construction knowpumped to the vessel how for exploration where is will be transand drilling operaferred to barges to a tions. Voest Alpine is land based processing providing cutting plant. head technology for the underwater cutNeptune ting equipment as well Minerals as testing of the Neptune Minerals of seafloor massive sulSydney, Australia was phide samples brought established by Dr. to the surface in the Simon McDonald in past year and a half. October 1999. The Nautilus engiNeptune listed on the neering team is finalizAlternative Investment ing specifications for Market of the London extraction from the Stock Exchange in seafloor. They will October of 2005 and combine technology report holdings of used for mining dianearly $13 million. monds with dredging Neptune has been technology and with exploring selected sites offshore oil and gas where hydrothermal technology. vents occur and where Seafloor Massive Sulphide inspected by Placer Dome geologists - on Equipment will have site Suzette field PNG v2. (Photo Credit: Nautilus Minerals) large deposits of SMS to be as precise at 80 lay. Neptune now has m as it is at 2500m. The design team is also working with exploration and mining rights to more than 60,000 sq. the ROV partners to develop an ROV that can drill km of seafloor, and a further 20,000 sq. km under applithrough the SMS deposits to determine thickness. cation. Neptune's strategy is to build a quality exploration Early in 2007 the Nautilus team will begin the detailed portfolio covering areas of known SMS mineralization design and construction of sub sea mining equipment, and to add value through focused exploration. Dr. including two remote controlled mechanical miners, McDonald applauds the work that Nautilus has done in power umbilicals, pumps, a 1,800 m riser pipe and relat- breaking ground in engineering, financing and technoloed handling equipment, as well as the construction of an gy development for the eventual mining and production 28 MTR January 2007
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