The Asia Miner

OCT-DEC 2015

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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October-December 2015 | ASIA Miner | 35 Papua New Guinea NAUTILUS Minerals continues to award contracts for various spe- cialized equipment and services to enable it to mine the Solwara 1 project on the seafoor to the north of Papua New Guinea. Most contracts awarded recently have been for components of the Pro- duction Support Vessel (PSV), which is being constructed at the shipyard operated by Fujian Mawei Shipbuilding Limited. Contracts have recently been awarded for the integrated vessel control system (IVCS) and for the detailed design of the dewatering plant with both to be used on the PSV. Norwegian company Kongs- berg Maritime was awarded the former contract and the Brisbane offce of the DRA Group the latter. The IVCS package comprises dynamic positioning, marine au- tomation, information management and navigation systems. The IVCS will keep the vessel within specifed position and heading limits while seafoor mining operations are performed. The system will also provide oversight and control of critical vessel systems ensuring effcient operation of the vessel and minimizing fuel consumption and wear and tear on the propulsion equipment. Kongsberg Maritime has supplied more than 2500 dynamic posi- tioning systems worldwide. Kongsberg Maritime is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Kongs- berg Group. It delivers products and systems for dynamic position- ing, navigation and automation to merchant vessels and offshore installations. It also supplies products and systems for seabed sur- veying, surveillance, training simulators, and for fshing vessels and fsheries research. The scope of work awarded to DRA Group involves detailed design of the vessel-mounted material processing facilities. With a design capacity of 400 tonnes per hour, the plant will include screening the seafoor massive sulphides into a number of size frac- tions, followed by dewatering using centrifuges and flter presses, eventually fltering to 8 microns. The combined dewatered product will then be temporarily stored in the vessel's hold, prior to trans-shipment via Handimax vessels to the processing partner in China. The remaining fltered water is returned via the enclosed riser system to drive the subsea lift pump and discharged within 50 metres of the seafoor from where it came. The detailed design phase is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2015, following which the vessel-mounted mod- ules will be fabricated and pre-commissioned onshore prior to inte- gration onto the completed vessel. Fabrication of the process plant is expected to commence in early 2016 with frst production from Solwara 1 scheduled for 2018. Nautilus has been granted its environmental permit for the Solwara 1 site and aims to produce copper, gold and silver. ONGOING systematic studies by WCB Resources have identifed an extension of the Kulumalia zone at Misima Island Gold-Silver Project by an additional 500 metres. This zone has potential to add resources to those identifed at Umuna Zone and Ewatinona pros- pects at Misima Island. Recent exploration by WCB has focused on systematic mapping and sampling along with further data interpretation and compilation aimed at identifying the highest priority targets. Kulumalia is the south-eastern extension of the plus-3km strike extensive Umuna Zone. Previous mining at Kulumalia extracted near-surface gold-bearing material over a length of 500 metres to depths of up to 100 metres below surface. The Kulumalia extension not included in the resource is identifed by variably brecciated semi-continuous siliceous zones on surface associated with anomalous soil and rock chip results. Historic drill data is more sparse than the area mined with 37 holes complet- ed on 50 metre sections over the 500 metres strike, but interpre- tation of the data suggests well developed continuity in multiple gold-bearing zones. WCB expects that with minimal additional drilling the Kulumalia miner- alization may be included in future mineral resource statements. Historic drill data indicates signifcant upside. Intersections include 56 metres from 40 metres @ 1.30 grams/tonne gold and 14 grams/ tonne silver; 36 metres from 48 metres @ 1.90 grams/tonne gold and 13 grams/tonne silver; and 34 metres from 100 metres @ 1.09 grams/tonne gold and 7 grams/tonne silver. WCB president and CEO Cameron Switzer says, "The recognition of the Kulumalia extension by the team may prove to be critical factor in unlocking the gold potential as not only is this extension defned over a signifcant distance, but it also brings the opportunity for near-surface oxide mineralization that can be accessed early in any future start up. "Drilling in this area has only been completed to a maximum depth below surface of 140 metres and we know that, based on drilling to the north on Umuna, well developed intersections several hundred metres deeper are still open at depth." Planning for future drill testing will focus on zones that validate the con- tinuity and increase the level of confdence for future mineral resources. Misima Island has previously demonstrated mineral deposit pedigree through past production of 4 million ounces of gold and 20 million ounces of silver from various operations but most recently the Misima Mine owned by Placer Dome Asia Pacifc which closed in 2004. WCB identifes new Kulumalia zone extension The Bulk Cutter, which is the primary 'workhorse' of the three seafoor pro- duction tools. Photo courtesy Nautilus Minerals. Seafoor mining contracts awarded

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