The company said the mv Duke would be used to generate targets to expand Nautilus’ seafloor massive sulphide (SMS) prospect inventory within its 100 per cent owned Solomon Islands exploration licenses.
Nautilus chief executive officer Mike Johnson said the company was excited to resume operations and focused on adding to its high grade SMS prospect inventory by applying high tech exploration techniques the company had been refining since 2006.
“This is the second time we have been supported by Gardline in our exploration efforts and we look forward to continuing our relationship with them,” Johnson said.
According to a company statement, the programme would define SMS targets using efficient multibeam echo sounder and plume hunting techniques.
Plume hunting was a regional geochemical technique involving discovery of metal rich plumes of material that were ejected into the water column from prospective
areas, by natural geological processes.
The primary objective of this programme was to discover further mineralised systems to support the Nautilus’ business model.
Among its many anticipated advantages, seafloor resource production would allow aggregation of resources from multiple mineralised systems without need for significant additional capital.
A company’s spokesperson told The National yesterday that exploration in Solomon Islands would start on May 1.
“There are plans for further exploration in other sites of interest, however, at this stage, we cannot speculate until confirmation is given.”