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| ||November 16, 2005|
Nautilus Minerals Inc., The World's First Drilling Program Of Gold-Copper Seafloor Massive Sulfides
| ||Vancouver, November 16, 2005 - In a move that could revolutionize the mining industry, Nautilus Minerals Inc., an Australian managed, private company, is leading the charge into the next frontier. Nautilus is preparing to explore the gold and copper massive sulfide deposits that lie nearly 2,000 meters below sea level on its offshore tenements. While oil companies went offshore 40 years ago, the world's mining companies have, until now, neglected the ocean floor as a potential source of metals.|
Nautilus Minerals has successfully identified mineral rich regions, in the Manus Basin off the coast of Papua New Guinea, where fractures in the earth's crust release streams of hydrothermal fluids that are rich in dissolved metals. When these hot fluids hit the cold sea water, metals precipitate out of solution and rain down upon the ocean floor forming mounds and chimneys of sulfides rich in copper and gold.
The Canadian mining company, Placer Dome Inc., the world's 4th largest gold miner, has joined with Nautilus to test their seafloor deposits off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Placer can earn up to a 75% interest in Nautilus' gold rich deposits (deposits with an average grade greater than 3 g/t) with Nautilus not having to provide any funds until the first US$35 million has been spent. Nautilus retains 100% of the base metal deposits (deposits with less than 3g/t gold).
Earlier this year, Placer Dome completed a US$3 million geophysical program designed to locate older, inactive, sulphide fields. This was the world's first geophysical exploration program directed at locating hydrothermally inactive or 'dead' metal sulphide deposits on the seafloor. Nautilus's interpretation of the geophysics shows its "Suzette" deposit measuring 280,000 m2 and its "The Craw" deposit measuring 100,000 m2. The grade of Suzette, from a weighted average from Placer's recent dredge sampling program as calculated by Nautilus, is 13.7 g/t gold, 10.8% copper, 3.65% zinc and 220 g/t silver.
Under the agreement with Nautilus, Placer has undertaken to spend US$4 million on core drilling and related activities and plans to test the Suzette and Craw fields from January to March 2006. David Heydon, President and CEO of Nautilus, says this is a major commitment and represents the world's first detailed drilling and sampling program of this new class of mineral deposit. Heydon reveals that the program is being keenly watched by other major mining companies as well as by several copper smelters in Asia, hungry for new feed alternatives to satisfy increasing demand for copper.
Nautilus Minerals Inc. a private company, with its sights set on a public listing in early 2006, has a key technical alliance consisting of leading engineering and offshore equipment suppliers and a pre-eminent board of advisors from industry as well as leading scientists in the field.
For more information contact:
Mr. David Heydon, President and CEO
Nautilus Minerals Inc.
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