TRL is venturing into undersea developments in association with Vector Recovery Systems, Inc.(VRS), a Wyoming company. The Arctic Miner™ flowsheet will be used to provide on-board gold recovery for a new class of mining vessel being considered by VRS. TRL further intends to benefit from this relationship through the development and use of the underlying vessel technology to provide logistics capabilities in support of off shore oil development and to provide remote coastal logistics for Alaska's western and northern communities and remote mining operations with coastal access. Both dredging and undersea mining systems using remote operated undersea equipment are under study.
Vector Recovery Systems, Inc.
VRS provides the experience and knowledge of vessel construction and operation. The principals of VRS are career vessel Captains and USMMA graduates. TRL is researching the best fit recovery flowsheet and undersea mining systems to use with the dredging/mothership.
The advantages of the SWATH vessel technology is greater stability in rough seas. At present, monohull vessels are being used for undersea mining dredge or mother vessels limiting the ability to operate in rough seas. Offshore logistics vessels for offshore oil development are monohulls. We intend to research the possibility of entering that sector of logistics support with SWATH vessels. SWATH is also being considered for logistics support for mining operations and logistics that require landing the vessel where there is no port to offload. An excellent example of a SWATH vessel with landing capability is the MV Susitna, a prototype naval expeditionary landing vessel.
Advantages of SWATH
SWATH vessels offer additional advantages beyond superior rough water capability. For example, the tug and barge vessels servicing the west coast of Alaska have a 1.5 knot average speed, with reductions for rough water. The MV Susitna is capable of 17 knot cruising speeds, giving the potential for multiple trips to Northwestern Alaska's coastal villages, potential offshore oil and gas drilling operations, and remote coastal accessible mining operations in the time that takes for a tug and barge to make one round trip from Seward or Anchorage. A SWATH with icebreaking capability could extend the operations season by at least two months off shore Northwestern Alaska. We believe that there is opportunity to improve and to increase the operational efficiency of logistics for this and other coastal regions of Alaska and the Arctic.