SPTs safely delivered in Oman
Post Courier 23 March 2016
THE three seafloor production tools to be used to mine Solwara One in New Ireland have arrived safely at Duqm Port in Oman for further extensive testing.
Canadian miner Nautilus, on behalf of the Solwara 1 joint venture (comprising Nautilus 85% and Eda Kopa (Solwara) Limited 15%, a subsidiary of Petromin Holdings PNG) announced that the three SPTs are scheduled to undergo extensive wettesting there.
The testing is one of the next major steps in the progression towards seafloor production, and will involve submerged testing of:
- Control systems operations and feedback;
- Hydraulic functions;
- Collection system functions; and
- Survey and visualization systems.
The wet testing program is being undertaken by the Solwara 1 JV production team and representatives of Soil Machine Dynamics, with further logistics and engineering support from United Engineering Services Ltd.
The preparatory works for the program will commence in April with initial testing operations scheduled to occur shortly thereafter.
The SPTs were designed and assembled in Newcastle upon Tyne by Soil Machine Dynamics, 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 JV’s project site in the Bismarck Sea.
Initial seafloor production operations are planned to commence at the Solwara 1 project site in Q1 2018.
Nautilus’ CEO, Mike Johnston said: “The Solwara 1 JV 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.”