TSMarine has secured at $US7 million drilling contract with Canadian company Nautilus Minerals.
The company will provide drilling services for Nautilus' operation off Papua New Guinea from October 2010.
See announcement below:
The four month drilling program, due to start in October 2010, will focus on drilling at Solwara 1 Seafloor Massive Sulphide system and will also step out to other Nautilus prospects in the Bismarck Sea.
The contract has a minimum value of approximately US$7 million, with options to extend based on success.
TSMarine chief executive officer John Edwards said the company was awarded the contract following a rigorous tender process.
"We are delighted to have won this contract through our demonstrated ability to provide a fully integrated service along with our track record of operating with leading edge technology," Mr Edwards said.
"Our entry into the offshore subsea mining sector with Nautilus and the expansion of our geotechnical offering at depths of more than 2,000m in a challenging seabed environment are exciting developments for TSMarine.
"The experiences gained over the course of this project will be applicable to the oil and gas industry and position TSMarine for future deepwater geotechnical projects."
TSMarine will provide the vessel, operating crew, remotely operated vehicles and drilling equipment.
The company will subcontract Seafloor Geoservices to provide their Rovdrill 3, a second generation seafloor drilling system, with full geotechnical capabilities, and capability to drill 70mm core holes up to 80 meters deep.
Nautilus' requirement is to extend the depth of drilling to at least 40 meters at Solwara 1 and to carry out scout drilling at some of its other discoveries in the Bismarck Sea.
Drilling will provide both resource definition and geotechnical data.
The Rovdrill 3 gives depth capability to test more fully the resource potential of Nautilus' Seafloor Massive Sulphide systems in the Bismarck Sea.
The drilling spread will also collect geotechnical data to optimise equipment design and extend the mine plan at Solwara 1.