May 13, 2008
Technip wins subsea mining contract
Could subsea mining become an offshore industry to rival offshore oil andgas exploitation?
Nautilus Minerals Inc (TSX and AIM: NUS) is planning to mine high grade seafloor massive sulfide ("SMS") deposits of copper, zinc gold and silver.
Mine planning is well underway for the world's first seafloor copper and gold mine in 1,500 meters of water at the Solwara 1 project in Bismarck Sea in Papua New Guinea (PNG), 50 km north of Rabaul township
Recently, Nautilus announced completion of the first phase of its $12 million 2008 offshore exploration program over its exploration tenements. This phase involved a 28-day bathymetric mapping program within the territorial waters of PNG that was designed to define targets for subsequent geochemical surveying and Remote Operated Vehicle based sampling.
Now, Nautilus Minerals Singapore Pte Ltd. has awarded Technip (Paris:TEC) a services contract for a riser and lifting system for the Solwara 1 project.
Later this year, Nautilus expects to award a mining services contract that will include provision of the mining support vessel required for the project.
Meanwhile, the contract just awarded Technip covers engineering and project management services for the delivery and commissioning of all components including the subsea pump, riser, surface handling system and ancillary equipment.
The Technip-designed seabed to surface lifting system represents a major new technological application that opens new perspectives for the development of subsea mines.
Technip's operating center in Houston, Texas, will execute this contract.
Technip says the mining project represents a new addition to its portfolio of deepsea engineering solutions. It will draw upon the Group's expertise as a world leader in subsea engineering and project execution for the oil and gas industry.