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First seafloor tool passes test: Nautilus

Nautilus has announced the submerged trial of the first of its seafloor production tools has been completed and now into the second lot of tests.

The company said over the weekend that the Collecting Machine (CM) successfully completed its trials, which indicate that the machine can perform to design specifications.

Following the success of the CM trials, Nautilus minerals have begun the trialling of the auxiliary cutter or AC, which will be followed by the Bulk Cutter or BC which the company will report later in the year.

In a statement, Nautilus CEO Mike Johnston said the company was pleased with the progress of the trials as well as construction and delivery of the seafloor production system.

He said this ensures that the system remains on track for initial production during the first half of 2019.

Johnstone said construction of the vessel, which includes the seafloor production tools (SPTs) and Launch and Recovery Systems (LARS) is progressing well at the Mawei Shipyard in China.

Good progress had also been made with the fabrication of the derrick and associated substructure which is required for the deployment of the subsea slurry lift pump and riser.

It will be shipped to the Mawei shipyard later this month so that installation on the Production Support Vessel (PSV) can start before the end of the year.

Johnstone said subject to further financing, Nautilus’ objective remains to develop the world's first commercial high grade seafloor copper-gold mine and launch the seafloor resource production industry during the first half of 2019.

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