Nautilus awards contract for the design of a dewatering plant

Nautilus Minerals Inc. has awarded a contract for the design of the Solwara 1 dewatering plant for use on the company’s production support vessel at the Brisbane office of engineering specialist DRA Group.

Nautilus CEO Mike Johnston commented: “The project team has worked closely with DRA for several years on studies and initial engineering. DRA has extensive experience with similar floating dewatering / mineral processing plants in related offshore industries. We are delighted to have them. use this experience when carrying out the detailed design of our on-board treatment facilities. ”

DRA Regional Director Donald Holley commented: “It is a pleasure for us to be able to apply DRA’s previous experience in the design of vessel-mounted processing plants to the Solwara 1 project. acquired through our diamond recovery projects off the coast of southwest Africa. This includes overcoming the challenges of designing and operating ship-mounted treatment plants resulting in particular from the impact of the dynamic environment of wave movement and the need for modular construction.

The scope of work entrusted to DRA includes the detailed design of the materials processing facilities mounted on the ship. With a nominal capacity of 400 t / h, the plant will include the screening of massive sulphides from the seabed into a number of particle size fractions, followed by dewatering using centrifuges and filter presses, to finally filter to 8 microns. The combined dried product will then be temporarily stored in the ship’s hold, before being transhipped via Handimax vessels to our processing partner in China. The remaining filtered water is then returned through the closed riser system to drive the submarine lift pump and discharged within 50m of the seabed from which it originated.

The detailed design phase is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2015, after which the ship-mounted modules will be manufactured and pre-ordered ashore before integration on the completed ship. Manufacturing of the processing plant is expected to begin in early 2016; with the first production of the Solwara 1 project scheduled for 2018.

Leon E. Hill

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