Russia will use new technologies in the development of mineral resources in the international areas of the Atlantic and the Pacific. The Ministry of industry and trade of the Russian Federation intends to modernize the geological survey which is conducted by domestic drillers in these regions of the world. The Ministry promised to allocate 50 million rubles to update the methods of searching for ore accumulations, hidden on the ocean bottom, and will take care of models of new ships for the experts found out News.ru.
The Ministry knows everything about technology, China, Korea and Japan
Russia and the international seabed authority at the United Nations (ISA) have three contracts to develop mineral resources in the international area of the Atlantic and in the Pacific.
The first was concluded at the end of October 2012. According to this document, Russia obtained the right to explore deep-sea polymetallic sulphides Mid-Atlantic ridge. In March 2015, the parties signed an agreement to develop deposits near cobaltpalladium crusts of the Magellan mountains in the Pacific ocean. Finally, in 2016 were prolonged work by Russian geologists in the area of the Clarion-Clipperton. In the territory between California and the Hawaiian Islands the specialists are the exploration of the ferromanganese nodules. The total amount of all contracts is $15 million
ISA was established in 1994. The organization controls the exploration of mineral resources in the international seabed area beyond national jurisdiction. The headquarters of the ISA are located in the capital of Jamaica, in Kingston.
The project of the Ministry aimed at finding new technologies to implement in these facilities. It is implemented in the framework of the subprogram “Development of shipbuilding science” of the state program “Development of shipbuilding and equipment for offshore fields development” for 2013-2030 years. All work must be completed by the end of autumn.
First, the Department will develop technical requirements for system exploration, extraction and processing of hard minerals. This document will enable companies from Russia to work in the waters of the World ocean within the framework of previously concluded contracts with the ISA. In addition, identified the need for a new transport and production equipment. The technology needed is already in 2019-2021 years.
Experts will analyze the experience of Indian, German, Chinese, Korean and Japanese companies in this field.
Developed a road map should contain data on enterprises with the greatest competence in the field of design, construction and proper testing of civil marine equipment and equipment for deep-sea mining — the document says the Ministry of industry and trade.
Finally, the project for improvement of the technologies aimed at the preservation and further expansion of the resource base of the country, creation of strategic reserves.
Raw materials for electric vehicles and smartphones
The international seabed area occupies about half of the entire surface of the Earth. Geologists from different countries of the world are searching in these areas of valuable metals. For example, in addition to Russia’s mineral resources in close proximity to the Magellan mountains looking for China, Japan and Brazil. The ISA has only 30 such contracts. Of these, 17 are connected with the exploration of the ferromanganese nodules.
The ocean is the only source of metals in the future. Oceanic minerals are required in all sectors of the world economy and Russia in particular — shared with News.ru the Deputy Director of the Institute of Oceanology, St. Petersburg state University Professor, member of the legal and technical Commission of ISA George Cherkashev.
The mineral reserves on the continents are being depleted, forcing the leading geological company on the planet to pay attention to the underwater deposits.
“Exploration and development of mineral resources of the deep regions of the ocean (on the seabed and the subsoil), ensuring the rights of the Russian Federation for the exploration and exploitation of seabed resources beyond the jurisdiction of coastal States, is one of the priorities of national marine policy”, — stated in the document for public procurement.
In 2012, the Russian government approved the exploration of mineral resources in the Pacific, and in 2015, Vladimir Putin approved the Naval doctrine of the country. In it, in particular, said about the performance of all obligations to ISA.
A request from the Ministry of environment on land close to the Magellan mountains was approved five years ago. After test drilling experts have evaluated the reserves on the slopes and summits of seamounts of the Central part of the East Mariana basin at 1 million tons. On an area of 3 thousand km also found reserves of Nickel and manganese.
Cobalt is actively used in the global energy sector. In particular, hydrogen. It is also used in the operation of the portable nuclear reactors. The metal included in the production of lithium-ion batteries of electric vehicles, laptops and smartphones. If today experts estimate that the demand is 2 thousand tons, by 2030 it will grow to 300 thousand tons.
Methods of metal production repeatedly led to scandals. So, Amnesty International has pointed to serious human rights violations in the Congo by corporations, including Apple, Samsung and Sony, as well as carmakers BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen. In particular, they talked about using in the mines of the African countries child labour.
Geologists are willing to look for ore at the bottom of the ocean
Deep-water drilling in the area in the Pacific ocean was developed by specialists of “Sevmorgeo” subsidiaries of state holding company “Rosgeologia”. The company from St. Petersburg performed by the contractor Gelendzhik Yuzhmorgeologiya. Last signed a contract with the Department for subsoil use on the continental shelf and in the oceans. Northerners, in turn, spetsializiruyutsya on mineral exploration at great depths.
With a record of “Rosgeologia” dozens of open fields in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. The holding cooperates with “Gazprom”, “Rosneft”, LUKOIL and other companies.
However, Rosgeologia is indirectly related to these projects. The main role in them belongs to the Federal Agency for subsoil use (Rosnedra) of the Ministry of natural resources and environmental protection of the Russian Federation.
The international seabed area is a territory which belongs to no one and everyone simultaneously. The organization created the rules by which any country can carry out there exploration. After its completion, begins the development of deposits. But before business is not reached. Today there is nothing Russia produces, — said Georgy Cherkashev.
The expert noted that the domestic experts are exploring beyond the continental shelf for many years. So, the study of guyots of the Magellan mountains, the flat-top is isolated submarine volcanic peaks, was begun in 1980-ies in the USSR. In the 1990s, was drilled the first well. Today their number exceeds one hundred and fifty.
Also appears promising area of the Clarion-Clipperton, where Russian specialists are the exploration of the ferromanganese nodules. Its size is 75 thousand sq. km. According to forecasts, Russia may obtain 580 tons of metal, but while the mining area is not defined. Experts believe that for prospecting and exploration of energy resources in the World ocean of the Russian geologists will take at least 15 years.
Mining will have a significant impact on natural resources in the country. Deposits of cobalt, only one of the localities in the Pacific ocean is much superior to all the Russian reserves, which are estimated at 650 thousand tons.
Wear-resistant heat-resistant metal in Russia is mined in the deposits of the Norilsk ore district and on the Kola Peninsula. First of all, it “Norilsk Nickel” that, according to experts, controls 95% of the market, and Orsk non-ferrous metals “yuzhuralnikel”, entering into group of companies “Mechel”.
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