NAUTILUS Minerals has completed its 2010-11 seafloor drilling programme, with the vessel, rem Etive, having been demobilised in Singapore on Monday, according to Marketwire news, The National reports.
During the drilling programme in the Bismarck Sea between New Ireland and New Britain , Nautilus completed a 99-hole diamond drilling project, for a total of 1,475m.
Drilling was focused within the area of the mining lease (ML154) recently granted to Nautilus by the national government through the Mineral Resources Authority, which contained the Solwara One deposit and the Solwara Five seafloor massive sulphide (SMS) discovery.
A total of 71 holes was drilled in ML154, for 1,147m.
The remainder of the drilling was conducted in exploration lease 1,374, which hosts Nautilus' Solwara 12 SMS discovery.
Nautilus' chief executive officer Steve Rogers said the highlight of the campaign had been the identification of mineralisation at depth at Solwara 12 and the improved knowledge gained at Solwara-1.
"We have commenced data evaluation and analysis and it is expected that results will be reported before the end of this year," he said.
Nautilus commissioned Golder and Associates to generate an updated resource estimate.
Nautilus is the first company to commercially explore the ocean floor for poly-metallic seafloor massive sulphide deposits and is currently developing its first project at Solwara-1 in the territorial waters of PNG.
Nautilus is listed on the TSX and AIM stock exchanges, and has, among its largest shareholders, two of the world's leading international resource companies namely, Anglo-American (11.1%) and Teck Resources (6.8%) as well as Metalloinvest, one of the largest and fastest growing mining and metallurgical holding companies in Russia.
Metalloinvest owns 21.0% of the company's issued shares through Gazmetall Holding (Cyprus) Ltd.