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Post Info TOPIC: Deep Sea Mining


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Deep Sea Mining
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Deep Sea Mining

Deep sea mining is the process relating to the retrieval of resources from the ocean floor. Some of the minerals like metaliferous oxides and metaliferous sulfides occur in the deep ocean. Metaliferous oxides contain manganese, copper, nickel and cobalt. Metaliferous sulfides contain copper, lead, zinc, chromium and gold.

In the early 60's John Mero's found out that there is great potential of manganese nodules. After knowing this information many industrial companies started investing millions of dollars in the development of mining. Manganese nodules occur in all the oceans. Their accretion rate is very slow, only a few mm in 1 million years. Cobalt crusts are found in seamounts, volcanic islands and ridges. The amount of cobalt is 2.5 % and these occur in depths of 1000 to 2500 meters. Cobalt is the most important element in nodules. Cobalt supplies are very limited. The largest producer of cobalt is Zaire.

Deep Sea Mining

Deep sea mining was devised in 1970's using modern technology to collect manganese nodules-concretions cemented by iron oxide and rich in copper, cobalt, manganese, and nickel-from areas primarily in the Pacific ocean, where they lie scattered on the deep sea floor. Due to rise in metal prices and the desire to secure strategic mineral supplies, companies started thinking of ocean floors as a new source of raw materials, primarily focusing on manganese nodules.

The two main companies who do deep sea mining business include Neptune Minerals and Nautilus Minerals. They're planning to dig into extinct black smokers for copper, zinc, gold, silver and other minerals. Nautilus is planning to spend nearly $300 million in full scale mining. It also plans to include a $120 million specialized mining ship, the Jules verne. This ship is similar to FPSO used for deep sea oil, but will separate ore from sludge and water rather than oil from water. It is also thinking of investing in undersea tools.

Some of the rules that were set up by International seabed Authority, a body of the United States, regulate mining in international waters. One of the important laws of ISA is that there has to be either a percentage national ownership of the mine or that a percentage of the product or revenue is shared. Another function of the ISA is to ensure that the marine environment is protected from any harmful effects which may arise during mining activities. One such measure is to protect areas on the ocean floor.



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http://www.greatmining.com/deepsea-mining.html



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