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Nautilus Minerals’ Seafloor Production Tools arrive in Papua New

Deep Sea Mining

Nautilus Minerals’ Seafloor Production Tools arrive in Papua New

Nautilus Minerals Inc. announced that the Company’s Seafloor Production Tools have arrived in Papua New Guinea, and will shortly commence submerged trials. The Seafloor Production Tools – the Auxiliary Cutter, the Bulk Cutter and the Collecting Machine, were designed and built at Soil Machine Dynamic’s facility in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.
(ed. WoMaMarcel - 05/4/2017)
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The Collecting Machine,  a large robotic vehicle, will collect the cut material (sand, gravel, silt) by drawing it in as seawater slurry with internal pumps and pushing it through a flexible pipe to the Riser and Lifting System.

Vancouver (BC), Canada – Mike Johnston, Nautilus’ CEO commented “we are delighted to be undertaking submerged trials in Papua New Guinea. The trials will result in money and investment going into the Papua New Guinea economy, and the employment of Papua New Guineans in “state of the art” technology which are some of the key benefits of seafloor production. The trials also allow us to work closely with our partner Petromin, government officers from the various government agencies, as well as representatives from Provincial Governments of New Ireland and East New Britain.”

The submerged trials will happen in an existing facility on Motukea Island, near Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.

Nautilus' Seafloor Production tools combine existing technology from the offshore oil and gas sector with rock cutting technologies used in land-based operations.

Rock is disaggregated on the seafloor by the Auxiliary Cutter and the Bulk Cutter. They excavate material by a continuous cutting process, not unlike coal or other bulk continuous mining machines on land. The Auxiliary Cutter is a preparatory machine that deals with rough terrain and creates benches for the other machines to work. It will operate on tracks with spud assistance and has a boom mounted cutting head for flexibility.

The second machine, the Bulk Cutter, has higher cutting capacity but will be limited to working benches created by the Auxiliary Cutter. Both machines leave cut material on the seafloor for collection by the Collecting Machine. The Collecting Machine, also a large robotic vehicle, will collect the cut material (sand, gravel, silt) by drawing it in as seawater slurry with internal pumps and pushing it through a flexible pipe to the Riser and Lifting System.

The Seafloor Production Tools design is an extension of existing subsea trenching equipment combining hard rock mining technology with that of subsea remote system technology. The Seafloor Production Tools will be deployed from the Production Support Vessel using a lifting frame and operated via a power and control umbilical.

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