Exploration begins with the Duke

AN EXPLORATION program is set to begin this month after a contract was signed by marine surveyors Gardline CGG and subsea miner Nautilus Minerals.
Exploration begins with the Duke Exploration begins with the Duke Exploration begins with the Duke Exploration begins with the Duke Exploration begins with the Duke

The survey vessel, MV Duke, would provide 43 days of exploration-related services at Nautilus' Solomon Islands licences with the aim of further discovering mineralised systems to support the company's business model.

It is scheduled to set sail from Brisbane on April 25.

Exploration will also allow nautilus to combine its resources from multiple mineralised systems without having to invest additional capital.

The program will define the seafloor massive sulphide, or SMS targets, using multibeam echo sounder and plume hunting techniques. The latter is a geotechnical method which involves locating metal rich plumes that are discharged into the water by the natural geological processes.

CEO Mike Johnston said he looked forward to working with Gardline CGG.

"We are excited to be back on the water this year, focused on adding to our high grade SMS prospect inventory by applying the successful high tech exploration techniques we have been refining since 2006," he said.

"This is the second time we have been supported by Gardline in our exploration efforts and we look forward to continuing our relationship with them."

Built in 1983, the MV Duke was refitted by Norway's A/S Vaagen Vert, and is equipped with a hull mounted Kongsberg EM302 multibeam system - a seafloor mapping system that provides some of the highest quality data available.

Gardline CGG is headquartered in Singapore to service the Asia-Pacific region and is a joint venture between Gardline and CGG. Both companies have extensive experience in marine site surveys, and 2D and 3D exploration seismic surveys.

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