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 April 03, 2008
US$116 Million Contract Awarded for Nautilus's Solwara 1 Development

 News Release Number 2008-06

Vancouver B.C., April 03, 2008 - Nautilus Minerals Inc. (TSX & AIM: NUS) (the "Company" or "Nautilus") announces that it has awarded a US$116 million target price contract to Technip USA Inc ("Technip") to provide engineering procurement and construction management ("EPCM") services for the Riser and Lifting System ("RALS") components of its deepwater seafloor massive sulphide extraction system, comprising:

  • subsea pumps;
  • riser pipe;
  • riser handling system; and
  • associated deck equipment.
David Heydon, Nautilus' CEO commented: "With the award in December 2007 of the GBP33 million Seafloor Mining Tool ("SMT") contract to Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd together with the US$116 million for the RALS, Nautilus' total capital commitment to date on the mining system is approximately US$186 million. This expenditure is covered by our cash in bank of approximately US$310 million as of December 31, 2007."

A competitive front end engineering design programme is underway to evaluate the SMT and the RALS integration requirements for the various mining production vessels under consideration. This will allow competing Mining Services contractors to finalise their outstanding tender clarifications. Nautilus proposes to select the vessel and Mining Services contractor in Q2 2008. With this timetable, Nautilus remains on track for production at its Solwara 1 Project in Q3 2010, subject to timely permitting.

The RALS contract resulted from a competitive tendering process involving five specialist riser contractors from the oil and gas industry. The contract was awarded to Technip as it provided Nautilus with the best technical solution and the most cost effective approach to the delivery of the equipment.

Technip (www.technip.com), with a workforce of 22,000 people worldwide and annual revenues of almost Euro7 billion, is an integrated engineering, technology and construction services provider to the worldwide oil/gas and petrochemical industry and one of the world's leaders in deepwater riser technology.

The RALS EPCM contract is based on a target price format which incentivises the contractor to maintain cost expenditure within agreed targets and to ensure the timely delivery of equipment. The majority of the equipment components under this contract will be provided on a fixed price basis by oilfield equipment specialists. Orders for the majority of equipment will be placed before the end of May 2008.

As announced on 22 February, 2008 (http://www.nautilusminerals.com/s/Media-NewsReleases.asp?ReportID=287667), the Solwara 1 ore is simple, clean and amenable to production of a saleable concentrate. Accordingly, Nautilus is reviewing options for offtake sales and the direct shipping of Solwara1 ore and has commenced discussions with various parties in this regard. This approach would postpone any major capital commitment by Nautilus for a concentrator until after first ore shipments when the Company is generating cashflow. Discussions will be advanced more aggressively with a shortlisted group of parties on completion of the final metallurgical testing in May 2008.

About Nautilus Minerals Inc.

Nautilus is the first company to commercially explore the ocean floor for gold and copper seafloor massive sulphide deposits and subject to timely permitting is positioning itself to become an emerging producer in 2010. The Company's main focus is the Solwara 1 Project, which is located in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea in the western Pacific Ocean. Nautilus is listed on the TSX and on AIM, and has among its largest shareholders two of the world's leading international resource companies, Teck Cominco (7.2%) and Anglo American (5.7%). Epion (22.4%) is controlled by the founder of Metalloinvest one of the largest and fastest growing mining and metallurgical holdings in Russia.

For more information please refer www.nautilusminerals.com or contact:

Investor Relations
Nautilus Minerals Inc. (Toronto)
Email: investor@nautilusminerals.com
Tel: +1 (416) 551 1100

Australian Project Office
Tel: +61 (7) 3318 5555

Numis Securities Limited (NOMAD)
John Harrison/James Black
Tel: + 44(0) 20 7260 1000

Neither the TSX nor the London Stock Exchange accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.
 
 

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