Technology Projects > Deep Sea Mining >Introduction
Polymetallic nodules have economically valuable metals such as Copper, Cobalt, Nickel and Manganese in them and are viewed as potential resources to take care of the depleting land resources and increasing demand of these metals. There are 380 million tons of nodules in the retained Indian Pioneer area. However development of deep subsea technology for mining these resources is a major challenge considering the ultra high pressure environment, very soft soils and other factors. NIOT has been working on a mining concept where a crawler based mining machine collects, crushes and pumps nodules to the mother ship using a positive displacement pump through a flexible riser system. It is expected that multiple mining machines will cover the mining field during large scale commercial mining operations. With this perspective, the integrated mining system is under development for demonstration of deep-sea mining of polymetallic nodules.
Launching of Sub-sea Solids Pump System (1032 m depth)
Remotely Operable In-situ Soil Tester (ROSIS)
view of nodules from 5462 m depth
Universal sub-sea latching system
POrtable In-situ Soil Tester (POIST)
The deep ocean has abundant mineral resources like polymetallic nodules, cobalt rich manganese crust and hydrothermal deposits. Utilising this mineral wealth for the benefit of mankind will be the focus of ocean mining activities in this century. Deep-sea Technologies and Ocean Mining Group of NIOT was been actively involved in development of technology for Polymetallic nodule mining from 6000m water depth. The Polymetallic nodules containing copper, cobalt, nickel and manganese are viewed as potential resources to meet the increasing demand for these metals world wide. India has a status of Pioneer Investor and has been allotted a site in the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) by the International Sea Bed Authority (ISA) for exploration and technology development for polymetallic nodule mining.
Schematic of Deep-sea Mining System
Deep-sea Technologies & Ocean Mining Group aims at developing a highly reliable Deep-sea mining system which will develop technologies for harnessing resources from ocean to meet the country’s growing mineral requirements and increase the country’s self sufficiency, in the near future.