The production support vessel (PSV) for the pioneering seafloor mining project for Nautilus Minerals Inc (TSX: NUS; OTC: NUSMF) was launched on Easter eve at the Mawei shipyard in China.
The vessel will be used by Nautilus and its partner, Eda Kopa (Solwara) Ltd at the Solwara 1 project site, in the Bismarck Sea of Papua New Guinea. Eda Kopa is owned by the PNG Government.
Commenting, Nautilus chief executive Mike Johnston said: “Today’s launch is a significant milestone for the company and the deep water seafloor mining industry.
“Mawei Yard has designed and built the world’s first deep sea mining production support vessel, in cooperation with Nautilus and Marine Assets Corporation.”
This, he said, has involved much discussion, thought and innovation, to produce this magnificent vessel. “The Yard’s efforts have been truly amazing.”
He added: “We believe that mining the seafloor for much needed minerals will be a more cost effective and environmentally friendly source of obtaining high grade copper, gold and silver.”
He said once the new vessel is delivered and, subject to final funding, mining operations at 1,600 metres water depth is anticipated to start late 2019.
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