|Partner Agency||Areas of Cooperation
Date of Signature
Authority, Kingston, Jamaica.
|Contract for exploration of
polymetallic nodules (PMN)
and polymetallic sulphides
Polymetallic Nodules: The Council of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) on 10 th August 2017 approved the extension of contract between Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India and the ISA (an Institution set up under the Convention on Law of the Sea to which India is a Party) for exploration of Polymetallic Nodules (PMN) for a further period of 5 years (2017-22). Under the exploration contract, geo-statistical assessment is in progress. Environmental data has been acquired. Components for the deep- sea mining system are being integrated. Research and development in extractive metallurgy are continuing. Exploration of 75000 sq. km of area in Central Indian Ocean Basin has been carried out at 12 Km grid and geostatistical assessment is in progress. Environmental data pertaining to variability, and biodiversity has been collected which is being analyzed. Remotely operated submersible which can be operated at a depth of 6000 m has been developed and work is continuing on developing mining system in a stage-wise manner. The extraction of target metals viz. Copper, Nickel, Cobalt have been demonstrated in semi continuous pilot plant at Udaipur. Research and development in extractive metallurgy is continuing. India organized a side event on 17 July 2019 during the 25th session of International Seabed Authority at Kingston, Jamaica and projected the work carried out pertaining to exploration of deep-sea minerals including Polymetallic Nodules in last 4 decades. India submitted its Annual Report of work undertaken in year 2018 on March 29, 2019 to International Seabed Authority.
India is the only country having 2 exploration contracts in Indian Ocean.Two commercial developmental activities are currently being pursued at IMMT using the operations developed under PMN programme:
1. Recovery of Co and Ni from Scrap for Midhani and impure Co hydroxide (Purification and Co & Ni Electrowinning unit operations) 2. Recovery of high pure Electrolyte Manganese dioxide (EMD) from low- grade Mn ores suitable for battery applications such as alkaline and Li-ion batteries for MOIL, Nagpur, and design of 10,000 TPA EMD plant (EMD Electrowinning).
Polymetallic Sulphides: Under the fifteen-year Contract of Government of India with International Seabed Authority for exploration on Polymetallic sulfides signed in September, 2016, the work on exploration of hydrothermal sulfides is continuing. Marine geophysical Surveys were carried out and work on environmental baselines is being carried out. Cruises have been undertaken in the Central Indian Ridge near Rodrigues Triple Junction point in the area allocated to India to explore the areas of hydrothermal vents. For this purpose, the chartering of the research vessel was carried out. The geophysical and oceanographic data were collected along with rock samples. The processing of data and samples have been carried out and are being analyzed. India organized a side event on 17 July 2019 during the 25th session of International Seabed Authority at Kingston, Jamaica and projected the work carried out pertaining to the exploration of deep-sea minerals including Polymetallic Sulphides in last 4 decades. India submitted its Annual Report to International Seabed Authority on March 29, 2019.