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Deep Sea Minerals in the Pacific Islands Region: Occurrence, Potential and Case Studies`

1st DSM Project Regional Workshop 6th 8th June 2011 Tanoa International Hotel Nadi, Fiji
Akuila Tawake SPC/SOPAC Division

Trend of Marine Minerals Exploration in the Region


1960s

Mid 1970s: Manganese Nodules;

Mid 1970s mid 1980s: Manganese Nodules, Precious Coral, Metalliferous Sediments, Phosphate. Early 1980s commencement of Cobalt-rich Crusts survey; 1982 and 1984 discovery of hydrothermal vents in the Lau BackArc Basin. Mid 1980s mid 2000: Maganese nodules, Cobaltt-rich Crusts and Seafloor Massive Sulphides; 1991 confirmation of high grade Seafloor Massive Sulphide (SMS) deposits in the Manus Basin PNG by the CSIRO. 2011 offshore mining licence granted to Nautilus Minerals in PNG.

1978 Survey

Early Manganese Nodules Survey in the Cook Islands


1980 Survey 0.3kg/m2

Crosses indicate stations occupied on previous cruises Rarotonga

1.5kg/m2

24kg/m2 11kg/m2

Surveyed in 1976, 1978, 1980 (x4), 1983; Nodule coverage can be as high as 90% and as low as less than 20%.

1985-2005 Japan-SOPAC Cooperative Study

PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Niue, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Tuvalu, FSM, Marshall Islands

1985 Japan-SOPAC Cook Islands Survey

1985 Sampling Points

38 sample stations; Three samples at each station; Distance between samples: - 78 km - 39km

Rarotonga

Japan-SOPAC Cooperative Study Programme


Mineral Resources Phase 1
Manganese Cooks Nodules Kiribati Tuvalu Cobalt-rich Crust Seafloor Massive Sulphides Purpose Kiribati Tuvalu

Stage 1
Phase 2 Cooks Samoa Kiribati Samoa Kiribati PNG Solomon Vanuatu RMI FSM Tonga Fiji Phase 3

Stage 2
Phase 1 Cooks Phase 2 Niue

(1985-1989) (1990-1994) (1995-1999) (2000-2002) (2003-2005)

RMI Fiji

Kiribati FSM Fiji

Mineral Potential Evaluation

Resource estimates Environmental survey

Minerals Occurrence in the Region


Country
Kiribati Cook Islands Tuvalu Samoa Tonga PNG Solomon Islands Vanuatu Fiji Marshall Islands Federated States of Micronesia Niue

MN

CRC

SMS

No economic potential for Metalliferous Sediment, Precious Coral and Phosphate

Recent Offshore Exploration in the Region


Nautilus Minerals: - Ongoing exploration in PNG, Tonga and Solomon Islands. Neptune Minerals: - Previously exploring in NZs EEZ. Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI) - License granted in Tonga, and application in Fiji. Bluewater Metals: - Licenses granted in PNG, Solomon, Vanuatu and Tonga. The Bond Group and Others - Interests in exploring and developing Manganese Nodule resources in Cook Islands and Kiribati.

Manganese Nodules Cook Islands


Manihiki Plateau

Penrhyn Basin

Samoa Basin

Stage 1: three surveys (i.e. 1985, 1986, and 1990); Stage 2: one survey (i.e. 2000).

Southern Seamounts

Estimated Manganese Nodules Abundance in the Central Area


Abundance > 30kg/m2 20-30kg/m2 10-20kg/m2 <10kg/m2 Total Maximum Minimum Average Central Area 1986 Survey Area (km2) Ratio (%) 2,600 10,774 3,002 238 15.60 64.80 18.10 1.50 2000 Survey Area (km2) Ratio (%) 7,021 6,215 1,959 1,419 42.30 37.40 11.80 8.50

16,614 100 50.86kg/m2 10.46kg/m2 33.56kg/m2

16,614 100 36.66kg/m2 0.00kg/m2 24.00kg/m2

28.88kg/m2

Variation in manganese nodules abundance in the EEZ of the Cook Islands

Cook Islands Manganese Nodule Estimates


Using polygonal method of mineral resource estimates
Nodule Abundance (dry) Over 20 kg/m2 15-20 kg/m2 10-15 kg/m2 5-10 kg/m2 Cut-off 5 kg/m2 Total (un-cut) Area (km2) 33,000 99,400 92,200 135,100 359,700 765,100 Inferred Resources (Mt) Nodules Co Ni (dry) 723 1,763 1,080 894 4,460 5,139 3.54 8.47 5.20 4.04 21.25 23.84 1.75 4.93 3.13 3.20 13.01 15.94 Cu 1.02 2.91 2.91 1.86 7.64 9.36

Manganese Abundance Nodul Nodules Potential

Surveyed at EEZs of 5 costal states

Found ig abundant area at t e central area of Cook Water

Cobalt-rich Crust Marshall Islands


1996 - nine seamounts (MS01 MS09) were surveyed; 1998 four seamounts (MS10 MS13) were investigated; Existence of manganese crusts was confirmed in all 13 (MS01 MS13) seamounts;
Majuro

2002 promising seamounts (MS01, MS11 and MS12) were resurveyed.

Topography and cross section of a Crust bearing seamount (MS01)

Estimates of crust and metal resources


Based on the 1996 and 1998 surveys
Seamounts
MS01 MS02 MS03 MS04 MS05 MS06 MS07 MS08 MS09 MS10 MS11 MS12 MS13 Tot l

Inferred Resources (Mt)


20.34 10.32 19.98 7.38 2.71 3.00 0.94 21.19 13.77 16.80 23.94 19.15 26.51 186.03

Metal Resources (tonnes) Co


134,252 76,393 133,862 61,998 27,108 24,936 7,902 156,802 96,370 115,945 165,171 128,287 132,526 1,261, 2

Ni
130,184 59,875 111,885 38,380 18,976 17,124 5,926 116,542 93,617 78,977 114,901 109,139 103,370 998,896

Cu
26,444 10,323 25,973 5,905 2,982 2,704 1,129 21,189 19,274 8,402 11,969 9,574 10,602 1 6,470

Pt
93 49 113 24 12 11 4 95 58 112 146 89 97 903

2002 Crust Resource Estimates


Resource (t) = Area of crust distribution (km2) x Crust Thickness (mm) x Specific gravity (2.0g/cm3) Inferred Resource Estimates Seamount MS01 MS11 MS12 Total Area (km2) 470 718 701 1,889 Resource (Mt) 34 220 36 300 Co Resource (Mt) 0.18 1.07 0.22 1.47 Pt Resource (t) 24 110 22 156

1996 Resource estimates for MS01: 20.34Mt crust 1998 Resource estimates for MS11: 23.94Mt; MS12: 19.15Mt

Crust thickness and metal contents at each seamount Based on the 1996
and 1998 surveys

Cobalt-rich Crust: Occurrence and Thickness

Survey area: Kiribati: 1987, 1989, 1991, 2003 Samoa: 1990 Marshall 1996,1998, 2002, FSM: 1997, 1998, 2005

Triple Junction Area: 2 x 3 km

Seafloor Massive Sulphide North Fiji Basin

Ore Showing in the Triple Junction

Triple Junction Resource Estimates


Study Area Cu (%) West Area East Area Average Grade 1.0 17.1 1.16 5.38 6.93 Zn (%) 0.16 1.69 0.22 8.17 0.61 Grade Au (g/t) Ag (g/t) 0.15 4.53 4.6 90.8 1.00 2.93 37.0 210.0 0.85 24.39

Observations by deep-sea TV camera confirm that there are at least seven (7) mounds in the Triple Junction Survey Area. Dimension of each deposit: 100m x 30m x 7m. Mineralised material Specific Gravity: 3.5g/cm3. Inferred resources of each deposit: 70,000t. Total Inferred Resources: 500,000t @ 6.93% Cu, 0.61% Zn, 0.85g/t Au and 24.39g/t Ag.

Resource Estimates Comparison


Potential and Type of Operating Mines Deposit Triple Junction (Fiji) SMS Average Grade Resource (Mt) 0.5 (Inferred) 0.87 (Indicated) 1.3 (Inferred) 3.4 115 Cu (%) 6.93 6.8 7.5 1.6 2.2 0.8 Zn (%) 0.61 0.4 0.8 1.3 5.77 Pb (%) 0.2 0.25 Au (g/t) 0.85 4.8 7.2 1.0 Ag (g/t) 24.39 23 37 8.6 75 -

Solwara 1* (PNG) SMS Whim Creek ~ (WA) Kidd Mine ^ (Canada) Ok Tedi Mine (PNG) VMS VMS

Porphyry 910 (resource & Cu-Au reserve)

* (Golder Associates, 2008); ~ (Collins et al, 2004); ^ (Wilton, 1998)