Magazine Articles | Oceans |

Seabed Mining

In 2018, the first deep seabed mining will begin production in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea. The project­­—Solwara I, is to be executed by Nautilus Minerals, which has been granted the lease to mine the deep sea for metals. Nautilus holds approximately 450,000 sq km of exploration acreage in the western Pacific, covering Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga, as well as international waters in the eastern Pacific (The Telegraph, 2014). Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD), which has been developing technologies for the subsea oil and gas sector since the 1980s, will be providing vehicles to be used for the mine. The Solwara I is aimed at mining seafloor massive sulfides (SMS). Seabed SMS deposits contain high grade copper, gold, silver, zinc and other trace metals. The nodule mining machines—each of which weighs about 250 tonnes, will extract the ore through cutting, and then deliver it...

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