Neptune Minerals was formed in 1999 with the intention of exploring for, and developing, Seafloor Massive Sulphide (SMS) deposits. Soon after, Neptune lodged its initial Prospecting Licence (PL) applications in New Zealand, covering the Kermadec Arc, Colville Arc and the intervening Havre Trough. The first PL (the 33,000 km2 Kermadec tenement) was not granted until 2002. Since becoming a public company in October 2005, Neptune Minerals has continued to advance its primary aims. Some of the highlights since listing on the AIM board of the London Stock Exchange have been:
Successful completion of three exploration programs over the Company’s New Zealand tenements: Kermadec 2005 (K-05), Kermadec 2007 (K-07) and Colville-Monowai 2007 (CM-07);
The discovery of two new inactive SMS fields on the Rumble II West seamount;
Granting of the second and third Prospecting Licences in New Zealand; the Colville and Monowai tenements covering 60,140 km2;
Granting of licences covering some 215,000 km2 of prospective arc and back-arc within the EEZs of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), PNG and Vanuatu;
Welcoming Newmont Mining, one of the World’s largest mining companies, as a major shareholder;
Neptune’s exploration and ground acquisition strategy is primarily focused on SMS deposits that occur within Island Arcs and Back-Arc basins. Whilst SMS mineralisation has been found in a variety of geological settings, it is those associated with Island Arcs and Back-Arcs that generally have the highest grades of economic metals, particularly copper and gold.
In addition to the extensive exploration tenure that has been granted to the Company in the waters of New Zealand, FSM, PNG and Vanuatu, Neptune has a further 434,000 km2 under application in the waters of New Zealand, Japan, Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Palau and Italy.
Neptune benefits from close relationships with New Zealand’s National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and other leading international SMS research institutes to develop its exploration strategy. Commercial approaches to exploration project management and resource definition utilize in-house expertise and a selected pool of highly qualified industry experts to rapidly advance the knowledge of SMS deposits.