First Norwegian Seabed Mining Research Project Starts
Nordic Mining has announced the start of MarMine, the first comprehensive research program in Norway with focus on the resource potential and technological aspects related to seabed minerals and mining.
MarMine is coordinated by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and has been granted approximately NOK 25 million from the Norwegian Research Council.
The total of 14 industrial companies and research institutions are taking part in the project.
The main areas of focus of MarMine project are:
- To conduct an exploratory and sampling cruise to selected areas of the Norwegian part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) to obtain geological, mineral, environmental and biological samples;
- To assess the grade and recovery potential of seafloor massive sulphide (SMS) ore subjected to conventional processing, reveal limitations of existing technology due to the submarine aspect, as well as investigate the potential for alternative processing solutions;
- To deliver a concept for mining and exploitation of the studied deposits based on the assessment of the rock mechanical properties of the ore and wall rocks;
- To assess process mineralogical properties of SMS deposits for use in the planning of mineral processing tests; and
- To conduct an ecological baseline study and eco-toxicological tests to assess environmental impact of SMS mining to support guidelines and best available practices.
An exploration cruise is planned in Q3 2016 for a period of approximately 4 weeks. The cruise will explore for SMS deposits within selected areas on the MAR. The work will involve sampling using a remotely operated underwater vehicle.
“We are very enthusiastic about the broad participation from industrial companies in MarMine. It is a unique project which will lead us to new frontiers of knowledge,” said Associate Professor Kurt Aasly, Project Manager for MarMine.
Nordic Mining CEO, Ivar S. Fossum, said: “We expect that MarMine will bring significant and valuable information about the future potential of seabed minerals in Norwegian waters. It will further provide base knowledge on how to develop this as a new business segment on a global basis.”