Nautilus Minerals has increased its resource estimate at its Solwara 1 project located in the Bismarck Sea of Papua New Guinea (PNG), through completion of an exploration drilling campaign.

The updated resource estimate was prepared on completion of a 1,475m, 99 hole diamond drilling campaign carried out from November 2010 to May 2011.

The total indicated resources at the project have increased by 18% to 1.03 million tons, and the total inferred resources have increased by 36% to 1.8 million tons.

Maiden inferred resource of 230,000 tons, grading 7.3% copper and 3.6 g/t gold has also been declared at Solwara 12, located 25km northwest of the Solwara 1 project.

In the coming months, the firm will carry out important works in the Bismarck Sea, such as use of multibeam sonar and seismic exploration tools to assist in identifying targets for drilling, which is scheduled to be conducted in the second half of 2012.