Unfortunate News of the Week

The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) in India’s motto is “The Technology for Harnessing the Wealth of the Ocean Starts Here.”  In April, NIOT will start the next phase of fields trials at 1000m for deep-sea mining equipment. Trials of the crawler were already successfully completed at 500 meters.

Why such the interest in deep-sea mining with initial costs near Us $32 million?

The Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences has taken a lease from the International Seabed Authority on 75,000 sq km in the Indian Ocean (map from the ISA of the mining province here).  The manganese nodules and other rare minerals present in the sector are conservatively worth Us $50 billion.  Thankfully the crawler will not be ready for operations for another 2 years.

Dr. M (1720 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

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4 comments on “Unfortunate News of the Week
  1. It will be prudent if government create a review mechanism on government spending especially on R&D activities. NIOT holding OTEC project since 18 years with expenditure of about 200 crores. Deep Sea Mining Project with initial target of 500 metres has now been scaled up to 1000 metres – what are the success rate of NIOT R&D activities and at what cost. Sagar Nidhi costing about Rs.300.00 crores is launched about 4 years back and Crawler is available since 12 years. What is holding to bring success – It is high time for government to bring a transparent white paper on R&D spending – otherwise government spending only will help in maintaining white elephant at the cost of public.

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