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

Sharma, Rahul
September 2010
Current Science (00113891);9/25/2010, Vol. 99 Issue 6, p750
Academic Journal
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.


Related Articles

  • Seabed Mineral Resources: A Survey. Albers, John P. // Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists;Oct1973, Vol. 29 Issue 8, p33 

    The article reports on the seabed mineral resources that are present in many parts of world's ocean. It discusses the different types of minerals to be found in the continental margins from those of the deep seabed. Minerals in the continental margins generally contains the same kind of mineral...

  • Marine mining. Cruickshank, Michael // Mining Engineering;May2011, Vol. 63 Issue 5, p89 

    The article focuses on the exploration of the marine environment and the development of marine mineral resources in the U.S. as of May 2011. Among the advantages of marine mining include the presence of greater marine resources for most commodities than on land, the meeting of rapidly increasing...

  • Composition of fragmental minerals of the surface layer of bottom sediments in the Caspian Sea. Kozina, N.; Novigatsky, A. // Oceanology (00014370);May2014, Vol. 54 Issue 3, p348 

    The mineral composition of heavy and light subfractions of the modern bottom sediments of the Caspian Sea is studied. The concentration of the minerals in the Caspian Sea made it possible to identify nine terrigeneous mineralogical provinces in its area. Based on the mineral composition of the...

  • Indicators of fishing pressure and seafloor integrity. Piet, G. J.; Hintzen, N. T. // ICES Journal of Marine Science / Journal du Conseil;Dec2012, Vol. 69 Issue 10, p1850 

    Piet, G. J., and Hintzen, N. T. 2012. Indicators of fishing pressure and seafloor integrity. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, 69: 1850–1858.This study calculates a suite of indicators reflecting the spatial extent of fishing and its impact on the seafloor and discusses the...

  • Securing the Resources of the Deep: Dividing and Governing the Extended Continental Shelf. Schofield, Clive // Berkeley Journal of International Law;2015, Vol. 33 Issue 1, p274 

    Half of the world's coastal States are in the process of delineating continental-shelf limits seawards of their 200- nautical-mile exclusive economic zones. This Article outlines the complex criteria and process involved in the definition of outer-continental-shelf limits, highlights associated...

  • 2007 deep-water marine seismic acquisition to define the Canadian Extended Continental Shelf under Article 76 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Shimfeld, Johk; Jackson, Ruth; Desroches, Kevin; Verhoef, Jacob // Atlantic Geology;2008, Vol. 44, p40 

    The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) establishes under international law the concept of the 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) allowing coastal states to exercise jurisdiction for the purposes of exploration, exploitation, conservation, and management of...

  • The exlusive economic zone debates and fisheries in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Öztürk, Bayram; Ba!şren, Sertaç Hami // Journal of the Black Sea/Mediterranean Environment;2008, Vol. 14 Issue 2, p77 

    Delimitation and proclamations of the Exclusive Economic Zone in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea an important issue for several reasons for the bordering nations. The Mediterranean Sea is a unique case due to its geographical characteristics and some conflicts already existing on maritime...

  • EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE (EEZ) MANAGEMENT. Taylor, Stephen // Naval Forces;2003, Vol. 24 Issue 6, p120 

    Focuses on the importance of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) management and the need for security in light of terrorist threats and activities. Agreement on EEZ through the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea which permits extensions of offshore limits of national jurisdiction to...

  • UN ruling makes Australia an even bigger country.  // Nature;4/24/2008, Vol. 452 Issue 7190, p-1 

    The article reports that Australia has become the first country to successfully claim an extension of its rights to the sea floor. According to Martin Ferguson, minister of resources and energy, the United Nations had extended the area of the country's continental shelf by 2.5 million square...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics