Marine Technology Reporter Blogs - environmentalists

Potential Environmental Consequences of Deep Sea Mining

May 12, 2014

nautilus impacts
In order for deep sea mining to be safely implemented, it is necessary to ensure the protection of sensitive ecosystems and minimize the potential environmental impact of the mining operations. Hydrothermal vents are the primary source for deep sea minerals. The magma below these vents heats the surrounding seawater, which causes metals within the sediment to leach into the water. The subsequent shock of the cold water causes the metals to precipitate and form as solids in the sediment surrounding the vents. Because of these high concentrations, most deep sea mining would occur in the chimneys above the vents. The vents themselves would be preserved undamaged, but the chimneys would be destroyed in order to mine the metals encrusted on them.

Deepwater Technology for Deep Sea Mining

May 11, 2014

complete overview
The recent agreement reached on deep sea mining by the Canadian mining company Nautilus Minerals and the government of with Papua New Guinea highlights the importance of deepwater technology developed for the O&G industry. The project will extract ores of copper, gold and other valuable metals from a depth of 1,500m. Nautilus Minerals, has been interested in mining the seabed minerals off Papua New Guinea (PNG) since the 1990s but was locked in a lengthy dispute with the PNG government over the terms of the operation. Under the agreement just reached, PNG will take a 15% stake in the mine by contributing $120m towards the costs of the operation.

A Possible Rival to the Panama Canal

July 17, 2013

panama canal
Nicaragua recently granted a 50-year concession to Hong Kong based HKND Group, led by Chinese telecom executive Wang Jing, to cut a channel between the Caribbean Sea and the waters of the Pacific. This channel would rival the Panama Canal with the added benefit that the proposed passage through Nicaragua would be wider, and leave the country well placed to capitalize on a predicted rise in global shipping over the next twenty to thirty years. The argument for the canal is that even with its current expansion, the Panama Canal will still be too small to accommodate the world's largest container ships. In addition to the canal, the HKND Group has won rights to build a railroad, two ports, an international airport and an oil pipeline.

Environmental Risks of Drilling the Brazilian Equatorial Margin

June 18, 2013

Mapao Blocos R a
With the 11th round of tendering for O&G block in Brazil set to start next week, it is important to look at some of the serious risks involved in drilling for O&G in Brazil’s Equatorial Margin. Most of the offshore blocks being tendered in this 11th round of bidding are located along Brazil’s northeast and north coasts. This, according to the Brazilian government, is being done in order to de-centralize O&G production in Brazil, where most of the oil and gas E&P is done along the southeast coast, basically centered off the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo. This is all well and good, when considering the need to redistribute O&G wealth to other parts of the country…

Treasures of the Deep – Mineral Exploration Under the Seabed

August 4, 2012

Seamount
Located hundreds and even thousands of meters deep, vast deposits of precious metals and other marketable minerals are closer to being explored. Advances in marine geology, hundreds of deposits containing gold, silver, cobalt, lead and zinc, valued at trillions of dollars, have already been identified under the seabed, usually around fumaroles (hot gas fountains of volcanic origin). These are spread out along more than 73 thousand kilometers of underwater fissures on the earth´s crust. This interest has already come to the attention of environmentalists and environmental organizations as these locations are usually populated by unique species that live along the borders of the fumaroles, due to the heads and chemical elements that emanate from these underwater chimneys.
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