Enshore Subsea eyes seabed minerals market
Enshore Subsea is developing new solutions to responsibly recover minerals from the ocean floor.
These minerals, among other things, are essential for Electric Vehicle batteries.
This pioneering industry has the potential to create a billion-pound-a-year market in the North East of England, Enshore says.
It could also support thousands of local jobs.
Working in partnership with OSBIT, Enshore designed and fabricated its first seabed mineral collector and recently completed a first phase project in Pacific Ocean, recovering more than 75 tonnes of Polymetallic Nodules.
Enshore completed these trials also in partnership with DeepGreen Metals.
Polymetallic nodules are small rock concretions containing high concentrations of manganese, copper, cobalt and nickel.
The recovery of polymetallic nodules from the seabed should mitigate many of the major concerns connected with conventional land-based mining.
The nodules comprise effectively 100 per cent usable materials, and do not require digging, drilling or blasting.
Enshore has developed a method that both reduces the impact on the subsea environment and minimises plumes of seabed materials.
For the next stage a 50 per cent scale harvesting system will be built and then trialled by 2022.
Pierre Boyde, Managing Director of Enshore Subsea said:
“Our first stage operations in the Pacific both confirm key parts of our sustainable recovery method and demonstrate the innovation and creativity of North East England’s engineering and subsea cluster of companies to deliver a solution that will have far-reaching social, economic and environmental benefits.”
“We have the technical skills and management expertise in this country to deliver this process, but we are in an international race against countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands.