Visible to the public Blue mining

TitleBlue mining
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBoomsma, W., Warnaars, J.
Conference Name2015 IEEE Underwater Technology (UT)
KeywordsBiological system modeling, blue mining, deep sea mineral resources extraction, Deep Sea Mining, Earth, economic sustainability, environmental legislation, environmental regulation, environmental sustainability, geophysical prospecting, Hydrodynamics, marine research institutions, mining, offshore industries, offshore installations, polymetallic nodules, pubcrawl170112, resource assessment, resource discovery, socio-economic effects, sustainable development, sustainable exploration, vertical transport system

Earth provides natural resources, such as fossil fuels and minerals, that are vital for Europe's economy. As the global demand grows, especially for strategic metals, commodity prices rapidly rise and there is an identifiable risk of an increasing supply shortage of some metals, including those identified as critical to Europe's high technology sector. Hence a major element in any economy's long-term strategy must be to respond to the increasing pressure on natural resources to ensure security of supply for these strategic metals. In today's rapidly changing global economic landscape, mining in the deep sea, specifically at extinct hydrothermal vents and the vast areas covered by polymetallic nodules, has gone from a distant possibility to a likely reality within just a decade. The extremely hostile conditions found on the deep-ocean floor pose specific challenges, both technically and environmentally, which are demanding and entirely different from land-based mining. At present, European offshore industries and marine research institutions have significant experience and technology and are well positioned to develop engineering and knowledge-based solutions to resource exploitation in these challenging and sensitive environments. However, to keep this position there is a need to initiate pilot studies to develop breakthrough methodologies for the exploration, assessment and extraction of deep-sea minerals, as well as investigate the implications for economic and environmental sustainability. The Blue Mining project will address all aspects of the entire value chain in this field, from resource discovery to resource assessment, from exploitation technologies to the legal and regulatory framework.

Citation Keyboomsma_blue_2015