Deep Sea Mining Agreement Reached

Posted by George Backwell
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Deep sea minerals PNG: Image Nautilus

The opening of the world's first mine in the deep ocean comes closer to reality as Canadian mining company, Nautilus Minerals, signs an agreement with the Papua New Guinea Government to start excavating an area of seabed.

The project will extract ores of copper, gold and other valuable metals from a depth of 1,500m, The mine will target an area of hydrothermal vents where superheated, highly acidic water emerges from the seabed, where it encounters far colder and more alkaline seawater, forcing it to deposit high concentrations of minerals. The result is that the seabed is formed of ores that are far richer in gold and copper than ores found on land.

For decades, the idea of mining these deposits - and mineral-rich nodules on the seabed - was dismissed as unfeasible because of the engineering challenge and high cost. But the boom in offshore oil and gas operations in recent years has seen the development of a host of advanced deep sea technologies at a time when intense demand for valuable metals has pushed up global prices.

The mine, known as Solwara-1, will be excavated by a fleet of robotic machines steered from a ship at the surface. The construction of the largest machine, a Bulk Cutter weighing 310 tonnes, has just been completed by an underwater specialist manufacturer, Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD), based in Newcastle, UK, according to a BBC report.

The plan is to break up the top layer of the seabed so that the ore can be pumped up as a slurry.

Nautilus' CEO, Mike Johnston, said the Company was pleased to have achieved an amicable resolution of its issues with the State.

"This step represents a major vote of confidence in Nautilus Minerals and the Solwara 1 Project. Through this joint venture, the State will provide a significant capital investment and will retain a direct interest in the long term success of the Project. We look forward to working closely with the State and Petromin on Solwara 1, which will generate significant economic activity within the State and the Province of New Ireland," he said.

Under the agreement, the state will take an initial 15% interest in the project with an option to take up to a further 15% interest within 12 months of the agreement becoming unconditional. Papua New Guinea has paid Nautilus a non-refundable deposit for its initial 15% interest of US$7,000,000.

Source: Nautilus Minerals/BBC News
 

 

 


People & Company News

Hammond New International Sales Manager, Fairline Yachts

British luxury motor yacht manufacturer, Fairline Yachts, announces Robert Hammond as its new International Sales Manager. Robert will be responsible for Fairline's

STX to Slash Jobs, Sell Yard

To stay above water by restructuring, South Korean Shipbuilder STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co. plans to lay off about a third of its workforce and sell a yard in France, says a report in WSJ.

Kongsberg Performs Well in Q2

Norwegian defence and marine technology company Kongsberg Gruppen's second quarter 2016 (Q2) financial results shows sales performance broadly in line with recent trends,

Technology

Damen, Evoqua Team for Innovative BWTS Solution

Two innovators in delivering unique solutions for the maritime sector, Damen Green Solutions and Evoqua Water Technologies will launch the DAMEN BALCON EC 1500

NASA May Send Submarine to Titan

NASA has unveiled plans to send a submarine into the depths of the largest ocean of Saturn's biggest moon, Titan in a bid to explore the depths of its largest ocean.

Scorpene Submarine Data Leak: Setback to Indian Navy

India has began multiple investigations to determine the extent of damage caused by the reported massive leak of secret data detailing the combat and stealth capabilities

Contracts

Austal Dives into Loss

Australia’s largest shipbuilder Austal posted a full year loss of $84.28 million because a program to build war ships for the US Navy took longer than expected.

Russian Shipbuilder Signs $1 bln Oil Rigs Contract with Iran

Russian shipbuilder Krasnye Barrikady and Iran's Tasdid Offshore Development Company (TODC)  have signed a deal worth $1 billion to build five offshore drilling

BP, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips 'Quit' Alaska LNG Project

BP, Conoco Phillips, and Exxon Mobil said that the 65-billion dollar megaproject would be too unprofitable for them to move into the next phase of development.

Offshore

Russian Shipbuilder Signs $1 bln Oil Rigs Contract with Iran

Russian shipbuilder Krasnye Barrikady and Iran's Tasdid Offshore Development Company (TODC)  have signed a deal worth $1 billion to build five offshore drilling

STX to Slash Jobs, Sell Yard

To stay above water by restructuring, South Korean Shipbuilder STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co. plans to lay off about a third of its workforce and sell a yard in France, says a report in WSJ.

Onshore Spending on the Cusp of Recovery?

DW’s recently released quarterly World Oilfield Services Market Forecast (OFS) and World Oilfield Equipment Market Forecast (OFE) continue to suggest 2016 will

Finance

Meyer Turku Continues Shipyard Investments

Meyer Turku shipyard  has further enlarged it’s investment package with a new 75 million euro steel storage and pretreatment facility. This is already a third large

Carriers have Withdrawn Extremely Low Spot Market Freight Rates - Drewry

Drewry’s Global Freight Rate Index, a weighted average of spot container freight rates across all major routes except intra-Asia, swung back in July by 13% to reach $1,403 per 40ft box.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Orders Two Vessels

TUI Group, the world’s number one tourism group, will invest in two new-builds for its Hamburg-based subsidiary Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. The two, new, 5-star expedition

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1270 sec (8 req/sec)