In 2008, Nautilus Minerals Tonga conducted the first deepwater commercial seafloor mineral resources exploration program in Tongan waters. It opened its Tongan office in January 2008 and started exploration work over its tenements in collaboration with a Marine Scientific Research (MSR) cruise on the Kilo Moana vessel in May 2008. Since then Nautilus has conducted various exploration campaigns over its Tongan tenements

In 2008, Nautilus spent 114 operational days exploring, utilising five different vessels. The cruises were a mix of purely Nautilus Minerals' efforts, collaborations with MSR vessels or with an exploration partner. All work was conducted over Nautilus Minerals ground.

The 2009 program was completed over 56 operational days using the Southern Surveyor and was conducted in collaboration with the Australian National University on the same basis as an MSR cruise.

Exploration to date has been very successful and has resulted in the identification of 19 highly prospective SMS sites* that are ready for further evaluation. Eight of these sites are located in the vicinity of the North East Lau Basin near the Niua's and the other eleven around the Valu Fa Ridge near Tongatapu.

*For more information on these results see Nautilus Minerals Incorporated, NI 43-101 Technical Report 2011, PNG, Tonga, Fiji, Solomon Islands, New Zealand, Vanuatu and the ISA which can be viewed here

Location of 19 Prospective SMS sites Tonga
Tonga Locations

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