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Deepsea Pilot SMS Mining System for Harsh Environments

[+] Author Affiliations
Philippe Espinasse

Technip France, Paris, France

Paper No. OMAE2010-20477, pp. 125-130; 6 pages
  • ASME 2010 29th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • 29th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering: Volume 3
  • Shanghai, China, June 6–11, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4911-8 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3873-0
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Following the trend of oil and gas production in deep waters, ore mining is about to start in the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean. If the first system will most probably be installed in the quiet though deep waters of Papua New Guinea, other prospects lie in the more turbulent areas of New Zealand and the Tongas. The ore accumulations to be mined are high grade hydrothermal mineral deposits rich in copper, gold, zinc, lead and silver located directly on the seabed. However, the excavation techniques need to be quite different from what had been envisaged for manganese nodules due to the morphology of the deposits. Based on its deep water construction experience, Genesis France, a company of the Technip Group has been contracted to perform a screening study of the various technologies to be applied to cut, crush, lift to the surface and pre-process the massive seabed sulphide deposits in a safe, efficient and profitable manner while minimizing the environmental impact of such work. This paper presents the conceptual screening study, the systems that have been evaluated, the selection criteria and the resulting operating system.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Mining



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