TITLE

First nodule to first mine-site: development of deep-sea mineral resources from the Indian Ocean

AUTHOR(S)
Sharma, Rahul
PUB. DATE
September 2010
SOURCE
Current Science (00113891);9/25/2010, Vol. 99 Issue 6, p750
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Polymetallic nodules found on the deep seafloor (>4000 m water depth) have been recognized as an alternative source for certain metals, when land deposits get exhausted. Spread over millions of square kilometres on the seafloor of all the oceans, these deposits contain as much as 40% of combined metals (Mn + Fe + Cu + Ni + Co) and are generally found in the international waters (beyond the exclusive economic zone of any country). India is one of the eight 'Pioneer Investors' in the world with exclusive rights over an area of 75,000 sq. km in the Central Indian Ocean for the exploration and future exploitation of these mineral deposits; the others being France, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, Interoceanmetal, Poland and Germany in the Pacific Ocean. Ever since the recovery of nodules in 1981 in the equatorial Indian Ocean, India has conducted extensive exploration resulting in the identification of first-generation mine-site; assessment of potential environmental impact, creation of data for mining; as well as development of technologies for metallurgical processing and mining of the deep-sea minerals. Some of the key factors responsible for the success of the programme have been multi-agency networking, mixing experience with youth and emphasis on high-quality research. The programme has contributed in terms of science and policy, publications and patents, capacity building and diversification into exploration of other marine minerals. This article traces the development in the capabilities of deep-sea mineral exploration and exploitation in the Indian Ocean.
ACCESSION #
54571653

 

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