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 (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (http://deepseanews.com/), a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

4 Replies to “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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