New Wave Media

January 25, 2021

ABS Grants AIP for CMI's Deepsea Mining System

Matt Tremblay, SVP, Global Offshore, ABS

Matt Tremblay, SVP, Global Offshore, ABS

In what has been described as an industry first, maritime and offshore classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has awarded China Merchants Industry (CMI) Approval in Principle (AIP) for its deep-sea mining system design.

The AIP follows the publication of the ABS Guide for Subsea Mining in October 2020 and is the first to be issued that conforms to the new Guide, ABS said.

CMI’s design focuses on retrieving cobalt-rich ferromanganese crust deposits attached to seamounts. The project ultimately entails the development of subsea mining machines, high concentration and large particle slurry lifting systems, and offshore mining support vessels.

“Demand for resources to support the low carbon economy means sustainable subsea mining will increasingly be viewed as a key technology. As the leader in offshore classification, ABS is pleased to be able to use its experience to support CMI, which is taking an important step in the development of a subsea mining system and we look forward to continuing cooperation with CMI in this important field,” said Matt Tremblay, ABS Senior Vice President, Global Offshore.

“The prototype of the deep-sea mining vehicle developed by CMI was successfully tested in September on the seabed 1,300 meters below the South China Sea and completed the first joint operation test with a manned submersible. We really appreciate ABS support and assistance in the development of this subsea mining design,” said Mr. Xian-Fu Hu, CMI General Manager.

In October 2020, ABS published the Guide for Subsea Mining, detailing class requirements for the design, construction, operation, and survey of mobile offshore mining units. 

"The landmark publication follows global interest in resources on the seafloor to support the emerging low carbon economy," ABS said.


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