Trelleborg has supplied specialty mining hoses to Viable Alternative Mine Operating System (¡VAMOS!), a 42-month research and development project designed to foster the exploitation and rehabilitation of under exploited and abandoned European deposits of mineral resources.
Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program, the €12.6 million ¡VAMOS! project aims to design and build a robotic, underwater mining prototype for field tests at four inactive submerged mineral deposits at two locations across Europe. This mining technique involves remote operation of the underwater mining equipment from an offshore control station without affecting the local groundwater level.
Trelleborg will develop a 200 meter riser hose connecting the underwater mining vehicle to the support vessel on the surface. The hose will have an internal diameter of 200 mm and a maximum working pressure of 15 bar. In addition, Trelleborg will also develop a 236 meter floating slurry hose that conveys the excavated slurry to the shoreline for dewatering.
Jacco Vonk, marketing & business development manager for Trelleborg’s engineered products operation, said: “It is widely acknowledged that the value of unexploited European mineral resources at a depth of 500 to 1,000 meters is approximately €100 billion. Building on successful deep-sea excavation techniques, ¡VAMOS! will contribute to ensuring a sustainable supply of raw materials to the European economy.”