Offshore Mineral Resources Within Indian Ocean
Date: December 17, 2019; Time: 9:30 – 17:30
Venue: CUSAT SMS Auditorium, Kochi, India
Deputy Director General (Retd) & Former HoD, MCSD, Geological Survey of India
Oceans are the world’s single largest ecosystem, covering nearly three fourths of the earth’s surface, thereby providing a massive arena for emerging complex and interconnected development issues such as climate change, livelihoods, commerce, and security. Among the world’s oceanic divisions, the Indian Ocean is the third largest, covering an area of more than 70 million sq km that includes extensive Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of different countries and large “high seas”.
Depletion of terrestrial mineral resources has turned our attention to explore the vast potential of mineral resources within the offshore domains. The value of strategic metals as well as the supply of those metals that is dwindling due to use relative to their abundance in the lithosphere will selectively drives marine mining. Our vision of offshore mineral resources is expanding rapidly as our understanding of the Earth advances. Offshore mineral resources are considered in terms of types derived from sources on land, types from sources at submerged plate boundaries, and a combination of terrestrial and marine sources etc.
In the Indian Ocean, shallow marine mineral resources mainly include: construction grade sand, heavy mineral placers (ilmenite, rutile, garnet, sillimanite, zircon and monazite), tin, calcareous sand, limemud etc. The deep-sea resources include (1) seafloor massive sulphides, (2) polymetallic nodules, (3) cobalt- REE rich seamount crusts and nodules (4) marine phosphorites and (5) metalliferous mud.
Seafloor VMS deposits, manganese nodules, and cobalt–ferromanganese crusts are being evaluated as potential future resources in the past are turning to be exploitable resources in the present. The deep seabed has the potential to become a major source for metals including REE, Ni, Cu,Co, Mn, Pb, Pt, Li, Au and Ag that are essential to developed and developing economies. Marine phosphorite is another resource attracting the attention of offshore marine mineral explorers and researchers because of major threat it may pose in the realm of food security.
Blue Economy (BE) is an emerging concept especially among the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) countries that is slowly gaining momentum. Exploitation of marine mineral resources should be within the framework of BE. Rare Ecological Communities (REC) are to be given paramount importance while mining offshore minerals. Offshore Mining Technologies for economic and sustainable mining are not far away from our doorsteps. Hence, offshore exploration and preparation of inventory for all offshore mineral resources are of great significance.
MARICON-2019 provides an excellent venue and opportunity to discuss on mineral resources, their formations and occurrences and to enrich our knowledge in exploration methodologies etc. The special session on offshore mineral resources in MARICON would be a exciting experience for all the presenters and researchers to meet, discuss and share a broad range of emerging ideas on different components of genesis, exploration and exploitation methodologies of offshore mineral resources through interaction by presentations and discussions on the new observations and findings, conceptual frameworks and numerical simulations that explore the fathom of the Oceans.
- Provide a platform to bring eminent researchers to discuss issues, challenges and solutions to address the genesis and ongoing developments in exploration and of offshore mineral resources and constraints to address, Blue Economy, sustainable mining, economic feasibility of offshore mining of mineral commodities.
Call for Papers
Researchers are invited to participate and present their findings on objectives of offshore mineral resources. The session will include oral as well as poster presentations. High quality original and unpublished work (conceptual, constructive, empirical, experimental, or theoretical) shall be encouraged. Major themes of the special session include:
- Genesis, transport and deposition of offshore mineral deposits especially of offshore placer deposits, lime mud, phosphorite, manganese nodules and cobalt–ferromanganese crusts and offshore hydrothermal deposits.
- Recent advances in the exploration and exploitation methodologies of offshore mineral resources.
- To discuss on emerging trends in offshore mining technology, impacts by mining, mitigation and constraints to be addressed.
- To understand economical viability of offshore mineral commodities.