Distribution characteristics of seamount cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts and the determination of the size of areas for exploration and exploitation

  • Gaowen He
  • Weilin Ma
  • Chengbing Song
  • Shengxiong Yang
  • Benduo Zhu
  • Huiqiang Yao
  • Xunxiong Jiang
  • Yongshou Cheng
Article

Abstract

In 2001, the International Seabed Authority (ISBA) initiated the consideration relating to the Regulations for Prospecting and Exploration for Hydrothermal Polymetallic Sulphides and Cobalt-rich Ferromanganese Crusts in the Area at its 7th session. Since then, the consideration of the Regulations has been mainly focused on the size of areas to be allocated for exploration and exploitation of the crusts. This paper, based on the investigation data and the analysis of the distribution characteristics of the crusts, suggests a model for determining the size of areas for exploration and exploitation of the crusts, taking into account various factors such as production scale, crust thickness and grade, mineable area proportion, recovery efficiency, exploration venture, and so on. Through the modeling, the paper suggests that the exploration area (the area covered by each application for approval of a plan of work for exploration of cobalt-rich crusts) shall be 4 856 km2 and the exploitation area (the mine site area) shall be 1 214 km2, for 20 years of 1 million wet tonnes annual production.

Key words

cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts exploration and exploitation area seamounts regulation on exploration 

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Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Oceanography and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gaowen He
    • 1
  • Weilin Ma
    • 2
  • Chengbing Song
    • 3
  • Shengxiong Yang
    • 1
  • Benduo Zhu
    • 1
  • Huiqiang Yao
    • 1
  • Xunxiong Jiang
    • 4
  • Yongshou Cheng
    • 5
  1. 1.Guangzhou Marine Geological SurveyGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Second Institute of OceanographyState Ocean AdministrationHangzhouChina
  3. 3.China Ocean Mineral Resources R & D AssociationBeijingChina
  4. 4.Beijing General Research Institute of Mining & MetallurgyBeijingChina
  5. 5.National Marine Information CenterTianjinChina

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