Nautilus Minerals Inc recently announced that the assembling of its Bulk Cutter (BC), which is the first of the Seafloor Production Tools (SPTs), has been completed.
Chief executive Mike Johnston said: “This is a major milestone for the company, having the first of the three SPTs assembled. This achievement brings the company all the closer to making seafloor mining a reality.”
Subsea vehicle designer and manufacturer, Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd (SMD) of Newcastle, United Kingdom, is the company responsible for building the SPTs for Nautilus.
SMD are experts in the “marinisation” of mechanical, hydraulic, electric and electronic equipment for use in a subsea environment (water and pressure immersion).
SMD uses this skill set as the basis of much of its existing product line in remotely operated vehicles and subsea trenchers.
“Nautilus is proud to be able to utilise their vast experience in the design, manufacture and testing of our SPTs,” Johnston said.
The Bulk Cutter is the heaviest of the three SPTs, weighing 310 tonnes when fully assembled. It is designed to be the high productivity machine responsible for the bulk of production.
Companies and institutions involved in the simulations and test work of the BC include CSIRO, Cellula Robotics, Deltares, Istanbul Technical University, ContiTech Oil & Marine Corp and Paterson & Cooke Consulting.
Johnston said: “We are proud to have such world class companies and institutions involved in the design and testing of these tools.
“The next step is to carry out commissioning and acceptance testing of the BC in parallel with assembling the other two production tools, the auxiliary cutter and the collecting machine.”