Green Economy in a Blue World - Minerals
The exploitation of deep sea minerals has been on the horizon ever since the economic crisis of the 1970, when first explorations of minerals and development of technologies commenced.
Three major types of minerals can be found
• manganese or polymetallic nodules, ’potatoe-shaped’, mostly found in abyssal plains at 4000 to 6000 meters,
• cobalt-rich crusts on seamounts, roughly 20 cm thick
• seafloor massive sulphides (sms) found at hydrothermal vents
The seafloor outside of countries’ Exclusive Economic Zones and Outer Continentl Shelves is considered Common Heritage of Mankind – it’s mineral resources are governed by the International Seabed Authority. Countries can apply for exploration-rights. No country has started exploitation in these ‚areas beyond national jurisdiction’ yet.
However, Nautilus, a private company is about to exploit copper and gold in SMS at 1600 meters depth in the waters of Papua New Guinea.
|ECS as of March 2011||Details|
|Hydrothermal Vents active & confirmed|
|Reserved Areas CCZ||Details|
|Russian Federation PMS License Areas||Details|
|Contractor Area Indian Ocean||Details|
|Reserved Areas Central Indian Ocean Basin||Details|
|Nautilus' Solwara 1 Project Area|