Information on Potential Mining Areas

 

The formation of ferromanganese nodules (FMNs) is a global natural phenomenon taking place on the border of the hydrosphere and the lithosphere all over the ocean bottom. The nodules are a wonderful material to be used for products that are so indispensable for people: nickel, cobalt, manganese, and other nonferrous metals, as well as ferrous, rare, and noble metals. Low content of some metal in nodules mined in a particular part of the province is balanced out by high content of another metal in nodules extracted from another part of the province.

All in all, there are about ten potential areas for the mining of nodules and other mineral sediments in the ocean. Basic mining objects are the Central and Eastern Areas of the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, Central Pacific Field, Peruvian Field, Southern Pacific Field, Hawaiian Field, Tuamotu Field, Midpacific Field, and Magellan Mountains.

 

 

The greatest portion of mineral deposits settles down in the central part of the Pacific Ocean. This is the so called Clarion-Clipperton Zone, a bottom territory located between two oceanic fracture zones. Currently, it is the world’s largest place of FMNs concentration and immensely promising in terms of industrial development.

 

As far back as early 1960s, the nodules draw the attention and interest of many industrial firms that started regular geological prospecting and exploration activities within the Clarion-Clipperton Zone. And in 1974, the UNO received the first application for a license for the FMNs deposit exploration near the North-Eastern Hollow of the Pacific Ocean – exactly between the Clarion and Clipperton fracture zones.

 

 

However, low content of one metal in nodules extracted from one particular part of the province is balanced out by high content of another metal in nodules extracted from another part of the province.

 

There are also other attractive areas such as Peruvian and Californian Fields of nodules and some other deposits containing sulphide sediments, cobalt crusts, metalliferous sediments, silts and brines. You can learn more about all these potential mining.

 

Ferromanganese nodules from various provinces of the Clarion-Clipperton Zone differ in the content of commercial components: manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel.

Basic mining objects are the Central and Eastern Areas of the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, Central Pacific Field, Peruvian Field, Southern Pacific Field, Hawaiian Field, Tuamotu Field, Midpacific Field, Magellan Mountains, etc.

 

Chemical Composition of Ferromanganese Ores in the World Ocean


Description of ore-geochemical types of oceanic Fe-Mn ores

Clarion-Clipperton type

Central Pacific type

Peruvian type

South Pacific type

Hawaiian type

Ni-Cu

Ni-Cu-Co

Ni-Mn

Co

Co-Mn

rich

ordinary

poor

ordinary

rich

ordinary

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Main objects

Central and eastern part of the Clarion-Clipperton Field

Central Pacific Field

Peruvian Field

South Pacific Field

Hawaiian Field, Tuamotu Field

Midpacific Field, Magellan Mountains

Chemical composition

Ni, %

1.39-1.93

1.17-1.48

0.63-1.00

1.40-1.80

0.29-0.40

0.58-0.89

0.49-0.78

Cu, %

1.29-1.94

0.99-1.72

0.42-0.84

0.73-1.02

0.15-0.30

0.08-0.16

0.16-0.37

Co, %

0.18-0.30

0.19-0.30

0.25-0.30

0.07-0.14

0.29-0.40

1.11-2.56

0.53-0.80

Mn, %

29.5-33.0

26.4-33.0

19.1-30.0

33.1-39.0

13.1-21.0

23.3-35.1

19.1-33.9

Mo, %

0.05-0.16

0.05-0.16

0.04-0.09

0.06-0.10

0.04-0.11

0.05-0.12

0.05-0.12

Pt, gr/t

0.10-0.13

0.10-0.13

0.11

-

0.13-0.50

0.35-4.50

0.35-1.31

РЗЭ+Y, gr/t

350-1,870

350-1,870

-

-

1,414-3,136

1,355-4,472

1,355-4,472

Fe, %

5.40-14.80

5.40-14.80

11.35-25.65

1.70-4.83

17.60-31.10

14.30-27.90

14.30-27.90

In-situ density (kg/sq. m)

 

 

 

 

 

Crust thickness (cm)

May 20

Oct 30

May 20

20-30

55.5-130.0

 

 

 

 

 

Sept 03

 

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