December 8, 2023

Serendipitous discovery of one of the largest inactive SMS mineral deposits in Norwegian waters

Discovery-by-accident by the EMINENT project was among the many exciting news at the Deep Sea Minerals conference.

Serendipitous discovery of one of the largest inactive SMS mineral deposits in Norwegian waters
“The Deep Insight research cruise, being part of the EMINENT project, has probably found the largest extinct mineral deposit on the axis of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This could be described as a discovery-by-accident in the prospective flanked area while trying to understand the geology better”, said Rolf Birger Pedersen, cruise leader and professor at the University in Bergen.

Pedersen gave a keynote covering several significant discoveries in the different research cruises conducted in Norway last year. The Ultima Thule discovery at the Knipovich Ridge is expected to be one of the largest active hydrothermal mineral deposits yet known in the deep sea.

Preliminary results from EMINENT presented by several speakers

Lars Kristian Trellevik, CSOO at Adepth Minerals, provided more insight into the experience with parallel operation for environmental and geological exploration from the Deep Insight research cruise.

Trellevik explained how new solutions for “hot stabbing” expanded the operation window significantly. Efficient coring technologies and parallel operations developed in the EMINENT project are expected to play a vital role in the cost-efficient exploration of the deep sea.  

Guido van den Bos, Business Development Director at NOV, presented mineral extraction technology adaptation. Bos outlined vital parameters to consider and different options, including planes for closed-loop systems.

Sensing the environment

Anders Tengberg, Product Manager & Scientific Advisor at Xylem, presented preliminary results from some of the environmental monitoring performed as part of the project.

Some equipment has also been left in the deep sea to provide a long time series to understand important environmental conditions over time better. The University in Bergen plans to collect the instrument at upcoming cruises in 2024.

DNV presented the status of the ESG Handbook for marine minerals headed by GCE Ocean Technology, which is planned to be released in Q1 2024.

In his presentation, Ebbe Hartz, Lead Geologist at Aker BP, called for closer collaboration to collect more ocean data. The lowest possible negative impact per kg of metal must be our primary target.