Quarrying & Mining Magazine

Ultra-deepwater mining survey in the Pacific

FUGRO, A DUTCH multinational company that provides geotechnical, survey, subsea, and geoscience services, has started its first project supporting deep-sea polymetallic nodule mining under a contract awarded by seafloor mineral exploration company Nauru Ocean Resources (NORI), a subsidiary of DeepGreen Metals.

Its marine geoscience team is making detailed site characterisation surveys in deep waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

The project, which began mid-April, is aimed at supporting and advancing NORI’s polymetallic nodule project.

The site characterisation surveys will involve acquisition of high-resolution imagery and geophysical data, and sampling of minerals from the seafloor.

Fugro will also measure geotechnical properties, catalogue the mineral resource and help NORI to determine optimal mining areas. The data acquisition and sampling will take place in water depths of up to 4500 metres over a 400-square-kilometre-area between the Clarion and Clipperton fracture zones and the work done using an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and specialised seafloor sampling equipment.

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