Aligning project development, technology and ecosystem needs in deep sea mining
Blue Mining – MIDAS Workshop April 20th 2016
The seabed mining industry faces challenges in exploration, exploitation and environmental sustainability, particularly in the deep ocean regions of the high seas.
In the absence of tried and tested commercial operations there are no generally accepted set of criteria for projects to demonstrate the use of best operating practices and technologies.
IHC proposes the use of the ‘Development, Exploration, Environment Decision (DEED) Framework’ for deep sea mining projects. The objective of DEED is to align project development, technology and environmental dimensions into one systematic decision-making process.
During this workshop attended by work package leaders of two major projects, both funded by the European Commission, the needs of the deep sea ecosystem needs were discussed openly and the opportunities for the applicability of the DEED framework was examined.
The MIDAS project – Managing Impacts of Deep-seA reSource exploitation – is a multidisciplinary research programme that investigates the environmental impacts of extracting mineral and energy resources from the deep-sea environment. This includes the exploitation of materials such as polymetallic sulphides, manganese nodules, cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts, methane hydrates and the potential mining of rare earth elements. MIDAS is funded under the European Commission’s Framework 7 programme and started on 1 November 2013 for a period of 3 years.
Blue Mining, breakthrough solutions for sustainable deep sea mining is an international European consortium of industry and research organisations on various maritime fields of expertise, the “Blue Mining” consortium, develops solutions that bring sustainable deep sea mining a big step closer to accomplishment. In a duration of 48 months the “Blue Mining” project will address all aspects of the value chain in this field, from resource discovery to resource assessment and from exploitation technologies to the legal and regulatory framework. The project “Breakthrough Solutions for Mineral Extraction and Processing in Extreme Environment – Blue Mining” received funding from the European Commission.