Blue Mining article available: Production key figures for planning the mining of manganese nodules


Under the impression of decreasing ore grades and increasing production costs in conventional mining, seafloor minerals came into focus. Having gained a basic understanding of geological settings, there is still a lack of tools to assess and plan future mining projects in the deep-sea. This paper contributes to a mining concept which is inspired by the high-tech farming industry: strip mining. Potential mining fields are identified using image filters in conjunction with hydroacoustic backscatter data and slope angles and are portioned into long, narrow strips. In the framework of the EU-funded Blue Mining project, these methods were applied to a part of the eastern German exploration area, located in the manganese nodule belt of the Clarion Clipperton Zone, Pacific Ocean. Both, the mapping technique and the mining concept presented in this paper can be used in early-stage feasibility studies to derive estimates on production key figures for seafloor manganese nodule mining. read more…

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