Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Norway's Petroleum Directorate Completes Second Seabed MINERALS Expedition

A year ago Norway decided to go look for and map mineral deposits in the Norwegian sea and this weekend when I went to check something in our follow-up post I saw there wasn't a follow-up post.

So, following up on August 19, 2018's "Norway to Map Deep Sea Mineral Deposits" we see that the NPD commissioned a second expedition.

From The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, September 9, 2019:

Successful exploration for seabed minerals
...(NPD) has just completed a successful data acquisition expedition on the Mohns Ridge in the north-western Norwegian Sea, using the Seabed Constructor vessel.

During the four-week expedition, the NPD has made several discoveries of previously unknown sulphide deposits, and collected data covering large areas. These deposits include metals and minerals that are important in battery technology, wind turbines and mobile telephones.

The Mohns Ridge is an oceanic spreading ridge that separates two tectonic plates, and the objective of the expedition was to map the seabed with a view toward mineral resources in the area.

The NPD has been assigned the task of mapping and proving deep sea mineral deposits by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. The Act relating to mineral activity on the Norwegian continental shelf (the Seabed Minerals Act) came into force on 1 July 2019.

Large amounts of data acquired
A total of 3900 line kilometres of geophysical seabed data was acquired using Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) Three AUVs were in operation simultaneously, collecting data as they passed about 50 m above the seabed at a speed of 3 knots. The AUVs operated independently for two days at the time away from the mother vessel.

This data acquisition has provided important geophysical data and seabed maps with a resolution of 1 metre in water depths up to 3000 meters.

Simultaneous to the AUV operations rocks samples were collected using Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs). Five successful ROV dives were carried out, where large volumes of still-image photographs and HD video were shot to document the mineral deposits.

Analysis and evaluation
The sulphide minerals are precipitated on the seabed. This takes place after seawater penetrates down into the seabed over underlying magma chambers. There the seawater is heated to more than 300 degrees and leaches out metals that are then transported up in hot springs on the seabed, where they are precipitated... MORE
The press release also links to the analysis of the last expedition.