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Nautilus' underwater miner begins construction

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Nautilus Minerals seafloor miner's cutter has begun assembly this week.

The last part of the Seafloor Production Tool (SPT), the auxiliary cutter, has begun assembly at Soil Machine Dynamics facility in the UK.

The auxiliary cutter is designed as the pioneering tool which prepares the uneven seabed for the bulk cutter. 

These two tools gather the excavated material; the other, 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.

It will operate on tracks with spud assistance and has a boom mounted cutting head for greater flexibility.

Speaking on this milestone, 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. 

"We look forward to reporting on this progress next month."

The auxiliary cutter will weigh in at around 250 tonnes once fully assembled.

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