Nautilus Minerals is the first publicly owned private sector organisation to be granted an exploration licence in the highly prospective Clarion Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCZ) of the Central Pacific, through its 100% owned subsidiary Tonga Offshore Mining (TOML). Sponsored by the Tongan Government, TOML has been granted ~75,000 km2 of prospective exploration territory by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for an initial 15 year term.

In September 2012 TOML released an independent Technical Report for a maiden mineral resource estimate for the CCZ polymetallic nodule property located within the Central Pacific Ocean. This was the first resource estimate prepared under NI 43-101 to be published from this terrain. An updated version was released in March 2013. Nautilus then completed a second campaign to the CCZ  (Q4 2015) with the intentions of: upgrading its 2013 mineral resource from the inferred category to a combination of measure, indicated, and inferred; and collecting baseline engineering and environmental data. The associated technical report for this upgraded estimate has been filed on SEDAR and can also be found here on our website.

The mineral resource estimate for TOML’s property in the CCZ highlights the significant potential of seafloor resources. The advance in processing and offshore technologies over the last 20 years has helped to make the extraction of these resources technically conceivable. The reduced environmental and social disturbance associated with deep sea mineral production, plus the development of a strong regulatory framework by the ISA since 1994 are key elements that set this project apart from large land based resource developments.

To read more on our efforts in the CCZ please click here.

CCZ map

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What's a nodule?

Polymetallic nodules occur in water depths generally between 4,000 and 6,000 meters. They contain significant grades of manganese, nickel, copper and cobalt, and form by the precipitation of metals on the seafloor, either directly from ocean waters or via decomposing microorganisms and/or their effluent in benthic sediments. Click here to view our nodule pictures (images 13 - 16)