Fugro has started its first project supporting deep sea polymetallic nodule mining under a contract awarded by seafloor mineral exploration company Nauru Ocean Resources (NORI), a subsidiary of DeepGreen Metals.
The project will advance NORI’s polymetallic nodule project in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Polymetallic nodules are potato-sized concretions enriched in nickel, copper and cobalt. These nodules also contain metals and non-metals important to ‘green-tech’ enterprises, such as electric vehicles and wind energy production.
Fugro will conduct the site characterization surveys, which will involve acquisition of high-resolution imagery and geophysical data, and sampling of minerals from the seafloor.
Fugro will also measure geotechnical properties, catalogue the mineral resource and help NORI to determine optimal mining areas.
The field work will be undertaken using the company’s Echo Surveyor VII autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and specialized seafloor sampling equipment, Fugro noted.
“Fugro’s sector leading technology, technical capabilities and track record of success make it the perfect partner to assist DeepGreen and Nauru Ocean Resources to begin producing metals for our future,” said Gerard Barron, CEO of DeepGreen Metals.
Dan McConnell, Fugro’s global product manager for gas hydrates and marine minerals added, “Fugro has much to offer in terms of specialized ultra-deepwater survey, resource assessment and oceanographic and environmental studies. We look forward to working with NORI and DeepGreen Metals and demonstrating value through this, our first ever project to support deep sea polymetallic nodule mining.”