SMD Begins Auxiliary Cutter Assembly
Nautilus Minerals Inc. will begin assembling its third and final Seafloor Production Tool (SPT), the Auxiliary Cutter (AC), this week at Soil Machine Dynamics’ (SMD) facility in Newcastle in Tyne, UK.
Nautilus' CEO, Mike Johnston said “we are pleased that the assembly of the AC, the third and final of the three SPTs has now commenced, with the arrival of the chassis at the SMD facility. The next milestone for the SPTs will be the commencement of Factory Acceptance Testing on the already assembled Bulk Cutter (BC). We look forward to reporting on this progress next month”.
When completed, The AC will weigh in at 250 tons. The AC is a preparatory machine, used to deal with rough terrain, creating benches for the other SPTs to work. It will operate on tracks with spud assistance and a boom mounted cutting head for flexibility.
SMD of Newcastle, subsea vehicle designer, is the manufacturer responsible for building the SPTs for Nautilus.
The excavation and collection of mineralized material has been split into three individual tasks. Each will be carried out by a different SPT. The AC is designed as the pioneering tool which prepares the rugged seabed for the more powerful BC. These two tools gather the excavated material. The third tool, the Collecting Machine, will collect the cut material by drawing it in as seawater slurry with internal pumps and pushing it through a flexible pipe to the subsea pump and on to the Production Support Vessel via the Riser and Lift System.