under the technical conditions, the acoustic measuring method must be able to spatially map the manganese nodules
with the required resolution.
Engineered by the Ocean Management Inc (OMI) consortium, the $50 million venture netted 1000 tonnes of manganese nodules
. A report claimed: "Perhaps an even bigger catch, however, was the clean bill of health the operation won from government scientists monitoring the environmental effects of scooping the potato-sized nodules from the ocean floor and shooting them up to the surface." (4) So far government agencies have dominated in exploring the feasibility of deep seabed mining.
He listed the major marine mineral deposits into three groups: SMS (seafloor massive sulphides), cobalt-rich crusts, and manganese nodules
. The SOPAC statement said SMS deposits included high-grade copper, with significant enrichment in gold, silver, zinc and lead.
The ABYSS autonomous underwater vehicle was equipped with a new digital camera system to study the ecosystem around manganese nodules
in the Pacific Ocean.
Until now, experiments were carried out on a small laboratory scale (2-3 kg of manganese nodules
Polymetallic nodules (also known as manganese nodules
) are potato-shaped, largely porous nodules found in abundance carpeting the sea floor of world oceans in deep sea.
The Korean maritime ministry said the manganese nodules
are sited on the sea bed at a depth of 800 meters to 2,500 meters.
Currently, South Korea has obtained exploration rights for all three main seabed mines that also comprises of manganese nodules
and seafloor hydrothermal deposits.
Germany holds since 2006 on the Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) in the International Seabed Authority (IMB) a license for the exploration of manganese nodules
in the Pacific.
The work areas where further exploration of manganese nodules
is to take place in international waters and are bounded by the following geographical coordinates Work area on the eastern license area Starting point 1: N 12 A 00 ~/ W 118 A 00~E to 2: N 12 A 00 ~/ W 116 A 00~S at 3: N 11 A 05 ~/ W 116 A 00~W at 4: to N 11 A 05 ~/ W 118 A 00~ backN to the starting point 1: N 12 A 00 ~/ W 118 A 00~Work area in western license area Starting point 1: N 13 A 30 ~/ W 138 A 22~E to 2: N 13 A 30 ~/ W 137 A 32~S at 3: N 12 A 30 ~/ W 137 A 32~W at 4: N 12 A 30 ~/ W 137 A 50~S to 5 N 11 A 38 ~/ W 137 A 50~W at 6: according to N 11 A 38 ~/ W 138 A 22~ backN to the starting point 1: N 13 A 30 ~/ W 138 A 22~The work areas are both busy.
A) Background Germany holds since 2006 on the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) in the International Seabed Authority (IMB) a license for the exploration of manganese nodules
in the Pacific.
The MIDAS project addresses fundamental environmental issues relating to the exploitation of deep-sea mineral and energy resources; specifically polymetallic sulphides, manganese nodules
, cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts, methane hydrates and the potential mining of rare earth elements.