Mining News

Out-of-this-world: a UX-1 HROV. Photo: EU UNEXMIN Project

Subsea Mining: The Next Big Thing for UUVs

In Europe, there are sure signs that underwater mining is the next big market for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and new “drones” called HROV, DART or TURTLE. Among the indicators is the involvement of mining companies, governments, rich subsea players and the Dutch dredging community. New vehicles are being developed from Hungary to Hawaii, although Portugal, it seems, is at the forefront of new-vessel commercialization.Apart from dredging up gold and diamonds nearshore, underwater mining is about two activities: tapping the leftover mineral

Photo: COVE

COVE Welcomes Aboard IBM Canada

.”IBM has a unique approach to collaboration that provides academic researchers, small and large business, start-ups and developers with business strategies and computing tools they need to innovate. Other areas of focus for IBM Canada include health, agile computing, water, energy, cities, mining, advanced manufacturing, digital media and cyber security

IBM Canada Joins COVE

.”IBM has a unique approach to collaboration that provides academic researchers, small and large business, start-ups and developers with business strategies and computing tools they need to innovate. Other areas of focus for IBM Canada include health, agile computing, water, energy, cities, mining, advanced manufacturing, digital media and cybersecurity

Rio Doce rivermouth in the town of Regência weeks after the Samarco dam collapse image (Creative Commons - Arnau Aregio)

Toxic Mud from Dam Collapse Affects Coral

As Brazil deals with the effects of the recent Brumadinho dam collapse, which spilled around 12 million cubic meters of ore tailings and mining waste over the Vale do Rio Doce mining company´s administrative area, cafeteria and nearby towns – causing 179 deaths and the disappearance of 131 persons, at present count – before continuing on to contaminate rivers, the effects of the 2015 Fundão dam collapse are being felt on corals surrounding pristine offshore islands that form a unique environmental protection area and an important national park.After the Fundão dam

Marine Technology Reporter published a supplement to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Oceanology International. Photo: MTR

Oi: Tracking 50 Years of Ocean Innovation

and hydronautical world, the excitement that had been building over the past decade about what exploration of the deep could offer, through the likes of Jacques Cousteau, was starting to be applied in a new industry, North Sea oil and gas exploration. The possibilities of new industries such as deepsea mining and seafloor habitation were also being discussed.Mid-century saw the first gas discovery in the North Sea, followed, a year later, in 1966, by the founding of the Society of Underwater Technology. An industry was born. Just three years later, so was Oceanology. Donald Brooks, of BPS Exhibitions

Resourceful: Norwegian AUV and oceanographic researchers work in sync. Photo Credit: Professor Martin Ludvigsen, NTNU AMOS

The “Disruption” in AUV Trends

research communities of necessity do. Some are part of a European AUV research program called SWARMS.SWARMS is about “smart networked underwater robots cooperating in meshes”, and while it implies the “biomimicry” of bees, it has at least one unusual market in mind: future ocean mining. The disruptive element seems to be the network itself, a way to tie-in ROVs and other vessels.There’s a US Navy swarm program, of course, and it seems to use AI to mimic underwater what the Navy’s LOCUST program does with aerial drones. Yes, it’s advanced, but Chinese AI guru Kai-Fu

Photo courtesy of Damen

Shipbuilding: Damen TSHD for Portuguese Dredging Company

Recently the Jose Duarte started its first mining job in Lisbon. The trailing suction hopper dredger has been built in Portugal for a Portuguese dredging company, to a Spanish design and using Dutch dredging equipment. The European cooperation has resulted in a customized dredger performing above expectations on her first job.Portugal has a long coastline and a number of busy navigable rivers – an excellent backdrop for the dredging company Inersel. When Inersel required an addition to its fleet, its preference was to acquire it within its home country. As a result, the company formed a team

(Photo: iXblue)

IUEM Chooses iXblue Equipment

environmental temperature, pressure, sound velocity and inclinometer sensors. Low power consumption (up to four years of battery life in listening mode) and intelligent ping management feature make Canopus suited for subsea operations such as seafloor Geodesy, subsea monitoring, construction or subsea mining.“We needed a highly accurate and reliable system able to provide precise measurements over many years,” said Jean-Yves Royer, in charge of the project at the IUEM. “The autonomy provided by the Canopus transponder, along with its ease-of-use and the availability of the iXblue teams

(Photo: NOC)

Exploring Deep-seafloor Mineral Deposits

A new project funded by the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC), and led by Professor Bramley Murton at the National Oceanography Center (NOC), will aim to reduce the potential environmental impact of future subsea mining by making exploration for deep-seafloor mineral deposits much more effective.Many deep-seafloor mineral deposits, which can provide vital new metals for emerging technologies, including those that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, were formed by hot springs on the seafloor. The big question facing geologists is whether these deposits – the vast majority of which

© J&K / Adobe Stock

GCE Subsea Announces Rebrand

. "We have branched out and people’s jobs have become more secure. We needed a new name to reflect these changes."The cluster said it will maintain its focus on the oil and gas sector as it broadens its scope to also include renewable energy and other areas such as aquaculture and deep sea mining technology."These measures will contribute to opening up new markets and thereby enable growth." Hagesæther said. "Moreover, it will contribute to an improved cash flow, the creation of more jobs, the increase of export income, and to reducing the level of risk in our companies&rsquo

© Mykola Mazuryk / Adobe Stock

India Plans Deep Dive for Seabed Minerals

In the 1870 Jules Verne classic "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", underwater explorer Captain Nemo predicted the mining of the ocean floor's mineral bounty - zinc, iron, silver and gold.India is catching up with that only now, as it prepares to unearth treasures down below, aiming to boost its economy.The floor of the world's seas is scattered with vast beds of black potato-shaped polymetallic nodules comprising copper, nickel, cobalt, manganese, iron and rare earth elements.These natural goodies are key to making modern gadgets, from smartphones and laptops to pacemakers, hybrid cars

Image: MAC Goliath Pte Ltd

Nautilus Minerals to Acquire Production Support Vessel

and Nautilus’ subsidiary, Nautilus Minerals Niugini Limited (NMN).The purpose of the Vessel JV would be to fund the acquisition of the Production Support Vessel (PSV) that Nautilus had previously arranged to be procured through MAC Goliath Pte Ltd (MAC) and the integration costs of installing the mining equipment on the PSV.The Vessel JV would own and operate the fully integrated PSV. The Vessel JV would charter the PSV to the existing Solwara 1 joint venture between NMN and the Independent State of Papua New Guinea’s nominee, Eda Kopa (Solwara) Limited.As previously disclosed, Nautilus has

© Tomasz Zajda / Adobe Stock

China Plumbs Ocean Depths for Cobalt

licences, has increased its lead in the race for alternative sources of battery minerals by taking samples from cobalt-bearing mountains deep in the Pacific.The cobalt-rich crusts could one day curb the world's dependence on cobalt from Democratic Republic of Congo, but most companies say deep sea mining is a distant prospect.Maersk Supply Service, part of shipping company Maersk, is working with Canada's DeepGreen to harvest metallic rocks from the ocean floor."It is a promising business area with the potential for significant future growth," Maersk Supply Service said in an email

Participants at the first Arctic, Antarctic & North Pacific mapping meeting for The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project, held at Stockholm University, October 8-10 (Image: The Nippon Foundation / GEBCO)

Seabed 2030 Meeting Held in Stockholm

Hydrographic Service; the Danish Geodata Agency; the Italian Ministry of Defense; the Norwegian Hydrographic Service; the US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; Italy’s National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics; Fugro; Kongsberg Maritime; TE Subcom; the Geological and Mining Institute of Spain; and NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, among others.Following updates on mapping activities, the meeting broke out into working groups to discuss how to overcome technical challenges in compiling data from multiple sources into a final gridded product, with decisions

(Image: Professor Cui Weicheng, Shanghai Ocean University)

Voices: Professor Cui Weicheng

locations to operate tourist submarines as a way of raising immediate capital. They will be operated and maintained by Rainbowfish employees.Rainbowfish has also embarked on design and construction of twin four-man 6km rated submersibles, similar to the Russian MIRs, for possible use in China’s mining claim in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ) manganese nodule fields. Cui has allocated some of his attention to advising this experienced team as well.Supporting Cui’s imperatives, the Chinese government is building a dedicated pier and breakwater for his large motherships to operate near the

(Photo: DEME Group)

Video: Soil Testing Vehicle Dives Deep

of three that will validate environmental performance in the deep sea. It was engineered in-house by GSR and built in collaboration with De Meyer in Belgium.Meanwhile scientist from both GSR and independent research institutions collected baseline data to better understand sites that may be subject to mining in the future and ensure that any such activities only proceed once the environment impact has been judged acceptable by the international community

Neil Gordon is chief executive of Subsea UK  (Photo: Subsea UK)

Subsea State? Steady with Waves of Optimism

our success in oil and gas and, more recently, offshore wind. As we look to the future, we need to ensure we have the technology and appropriate skills to continue to grow and create high-value jobs through further diversification in emerging and maturing areas such as wave & tidal energy, deepsea mining and aquaculture

Marine Technology Magazine Cover Apr 2019 - Ocean Energy: Oil, Wind & Tidal

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