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Manganese Nodule Resources in the Northeastern Equatorial Pacific

  • V. E. McKelvey
  • Nancy A. Wright
  • Robert W. Rowland
Part of the Marine Science book series (MR, volume 9)

Abstract

Recent publication of maps at scale 1:1,000,000 of the northeastern equatorial Pacific region showing publicly available information on the nickel plus copper content of manganese nodules has made it possible to outline the prime area between the Clarion and Clipperton fracture zones which has been the focus of several recent scientific and commercial studies. The area, defined as that in which the nodules contain more than 1.8 percent nickel plus copper, is about 2o5 million km2. The available evidence suggests that about half of it contains nodules in concentration (reported in wet weight units) greater than 5 kg/m2 and averaging 11.9 kg/m2. If we assume that 20 percent of the nodules in this area of 1.25 million km2 are recoverable, its potential recoverable resources are about 2.1 billion dry metric tons of nodules averaging about 25 percent Mn, 1.3 percent Ni, 1.0 percent Cu, 0.22 percent Co, and 0.05 percent Mo—enough to support about 27 mining operations each producing an average of 75 million metric tons of nodules over their lifetimes. Estimates based on other plausible assumptions would be higher or lower, but of the same order of magnitude. Thus it seems probable that the magnitude of the potentially recoverable nodule resources of the Clarion-Clipperton prime area—the most promising now known—is at most in the range of several tens of the average-size operations postulated.

Keywords

Prime Area Manganese Nodule Ferromanganese Nodule Nodule Resource Percent Nickel 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. E. McKelvey
    • 1
  • Nancy A. Wright
    • 1
  • Robert W. Rowland
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Geological SurveyRestonUSA

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