CANADA’s Nautilus Minerals Inc has discovered high-grade copper and zinc during its deep-sea exploration at Salwara in Western Bismarck Sea last year.
Copper grades up to 32.4% and zinc grades up to 52.6% were reported from grab samples collected from these discoveries using a hand held x-ray fluorescence (XRF) metre.
Final assays on samples collected from Solwara 12 and 13, had also been received, and indicated gold up to 39.7 gram per tonne (g/t) and silver up to 682 g/t.
Additionally, the company has made a further high-grade discovery at Solwara 11 (11i) in the Western Bismarck Sea.
Nautilus, the first company to commercially explore the ocean floor for polymetallic seafloor massive sulphide deposits and developing its first project – Solwara 1, said in a statement the discovered areas were identified using enhanced target generation techniques and technology developed by Nautilus’ exploration team over the last two years.
Stephen Rogers, Nautilus’ chief executive officer, said: “Further success in the Bismarck Sea, PNG, combined with good assay results clearly highlights this region as a significant SMS domain.
“Our work is now focused on the evaluation and ranking of the new systems in preparation for an intensive drilling campaign in 2010.”
The exploration vessel mv Fugro Solstice was successfully demobilised in Singapore last Tuesday after completing a 132-day programme of water geochemistry studies, geophysics, remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) mapping and ROV sampling.