Thursday, February 23, 2012

Nautilus launches exploration programme


NAUTILUS Minerals has launched its 2012 exploration programme in the Bismarck Sea in its exploration tenement areas, The National reports.
 Its tenements included the first commercial development and recently approved licence, the Solwara 1 and 2 projects, located at 1,600m water depth in the Bismarck Sea between New Ireland and East New Britain provinces.
According to a statement from the East New Britain provincial administration, the awareness team visited the province last week from New Ireland and would move on to the other provinces sharing coastlines of the Bismarck Sea as part of their exploration cruise programme awareness.
The Nautilus exploration exercise will begin tomorrow over a period of 90 days aboard mv Duke, a fully-equipped seafarer vessel specially fitted for ocean research and with latest technology on deep sea exploration.
According to project geologist of Nautilus awareness team Kessy Wama, the main objective of the exploration exercise was to identify new targets, assess data on existing finds and assess the new methods of exploration.
She said the deep sea exploration methods were mainly multi-beam and seismic surveys with the latter being the first of its kind to be used by Nautilus in mapping out geological structures beneath the sea floor.
Wama said these activities were low impact and not harmful to marine wildlife and Nautilus would be operating under both the PNG and Australian standards that would be closely monitored by a marine observer who would be onboard the exploration vessel.
She assured that as means of controls and mitigation, all equipment on the vessel were well-tested and designed and manned by very experienced operators.
Deputy provincial administrator-coordination and implementation, Clement Irasua, reiterated the need for compliance to ensure that marine resources were protected at all costs while in operation.
He appealed to maritime communities of East New Britain and New Ireland to understand this awareness programme and cooperate whenever they sighted the mv Duke out on the open seas

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