Nautilus Minerals', the world's leader in exploration and development of deepocean seafloor resources, has located a number of Seafloor Massive Sulphide(SMS) deposits in the Bismarck Sea, within the Territorial Waters of Papua NewGuinea. Nautilus' business model is based on the notion of ongoing resourceaccumulation and aggregating numerous high grade SMS systems and tosequentially develop them using a floating production system.

Nautilus' project development plans are based on utilizing and / or adaptingexisting technologies from a number of different industries. The offshore oiland gas industry in particular has been a primary source of equipment andtechnology and it is from this industry that Nautilus is procuring a SubseaSlurry Lift Pump (SSLP) to pump slurry from the seafloor to its surfaceproduction vessel.

The SSLP under procurement is a 10 chamber positive displacement lift pump. Thepump technology was originally developed to pump drill fluids and cuttings indual gradient drilling of deepwater offshore oil and gas reservoirs. Byallowing the pump's discharge pressure to adjust to changes in the slurry(Viscosity, Density & Solids Concentration), the positive displacement pumpaccommodates variations in flow conditions to remain within its operatingenvelope. The SSLP has a number of direct technical and operational synergiesthat make it ideally suited for application in the SMS productionindustry.

This paper provides an overview of the SSLP design and its suitability for theseafloor mineral production industry and also explores alternate slurry pump orlift technologies suited to this new and developing industry.

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