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.