The three seafloor production tools (SPTs) for the deep seabed Solwara 1 project have arrived at Duqm Port in Oman, Nautilus Minerals informed on Friday.
The three SPTs are scheduled to undergo wet testing at Duqm Port. The testing is one of the next major steps in the progession towards seafloor production, and will involve submerged testing of: Control systems operations and feedback; Hydraulic functions; Collection system functions; Survey and visualization systems.
The wet testing program is being undertaken by the Solwara 1 joint venture production team and representatives of Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD), with further logistics and engineering support from United Engineering Services, in Duqm Port, Oman.
The preparatory works for the program should start in April with initial testing operations scheduled to occur shortly thereafter.
The SPTs were designed and assembled in Newcastle upon Tyne by SMD, and the company ultimately plans to use the SPTs to cut and extract high grade copper and gold from the seafloor at the Solwara 1 joint venture’s project site in the Bismarck Sea, Papua New Guinea. Initial seafloor production operations are planned to start at the Solwara 1 project site in Q1 2018.
Nautilus’ CEO, Mike Johnston, said: “The Solwara 1 Joint Venture partners are delighted that the SPTs have made it safely to Duqm Port. We look forward to commencing our wet testing program with the support of UES and Soil Machine Dynamics (UK), and I look forward to reporting the results to our shareholders and the market in general.”