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A Conceptual Framework for Assessing the Potential of Ocean Mining Sites

[+] Author Affiliations
Hany Elosta

Technip Norge AS, Sandvika, Norway

Shiliang Shan

Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada

Nicole L. Kudla

Imperial College, London, UK

Kyung-Kyu Yang

Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea

Paper No. OMAE2013-10539, pp. V005T06A037; 12 pages
  • ASME 2013 32nd International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 5: Ocean Engineering
  • Nantes, France, June 9–14, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5539-3
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


Ocean mining is considered to be the new offshore frontier and has been the center of research and commercial focus over the past few years. The further development of the ocean mining industry posts challenges in many fields including engineering, economics, environment, law, logistics and supply chain. This research aims to understand the challenges and link these fields by developing a framework for assessing the potential of ocean mining sites. Seabed resources and associated exploration and exploitation technologies are reviewed. Based on this review, it identifies the most promising ocean mining sites, the massive sulphide deposits in inactive hydrothermal vents, along the oceanic ridge in the Exclusive Economic Zone. An online survey is conducted to obtain a broader academic and industrial view on ocean mining. The world’s first commercial ocean mining project developed by Nautilus Minerals Inc. is also analyzed as a case study. Based on the seabed resources review, online survey and case study, the major challenges in ocean mining are presented, covering engineering systems, environmental risk mitigation, economic feasibility, law, logistics and supply chain.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
Topics: Offshore mining



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