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Breakthrough Solutions for the Sustainable Harvesting and Processing of Deep Sea Polymetallic Nodules

Breakthrough Solutions for the Sustainable Harvesting and Processing of Deep Sea Polymetallic Nodules

Objective

A key EU policy aims to reduce the Union dependency on raw materials imports, in particular (candidate) Critical Raw Materials that are vital for the EU innovative technologies. Topic SC5-11c-2015 scope focuses on “developing new highly-automated technological sustainable solutions for deep mining … in the sea bed combined with in-situ processing of minerals”. An existing but challenging raw material resource concerns polymetallic nodules. These round to elongated concretions of 1–15 cm diameter form on sediment-covered deep-sea plains in all oceans between 4-6000m water depth. The challenge to harvest and transport the nodules to the EU shore is taken on by Blue Nodules. The governing project principle is: industrial viability within the context of a realistic and technical, economic and environmentally balanced business case for the complete Polymetallic Nodules value chain of mining, processing and valorisation. Blue Nodules will develop and test to TRL6 maturity a new highly-automated and technologically sustainable deep sea mining system. Key features are: an annual production capability of 2 Million Tons nodules in water depths up to 6000m, in-situ processing of the nodules and intrinsic safe working conditions. Technical WPs are dedicated to subsea harvesting equipment & control technology, in-situ seafloor processing of polymetallic nodules and sea surface, land operations & processes. A dedicated WP focuses on environmental issues and on an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). A WP setting requirements and assessing the developed technology controls the entire work plan structure. High credibility is obtained by linking the project work to a nodule field licence owned by a project partner and located in the most promising known nodule deposit: the Clarion Clipperton Zone. The project consortium contains 14 leading industry and research partners from 9 EU member states. The project duration is 48 months, the required funding amounts to 8 Million.

Coordinator

IHC MINING BV

Address

Molendijk 94
3361 Ep Sliedrecht

Netherlands

Activity type

Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)

EU Contribution

€ 2 022 440

Participants (15)

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DREDGING INTERNATIONAL NV

Belgium

EU Contribution

€ 982 250

CONTITECH RUBBER INDUSTRIAL KORLATOLT FELELOSSEGU TARSASAG

Hungary

EU Contribution

€ 443 800

IHC MTI BV

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 839 375

DE REGT MARINE CABLES BV

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 307 937,50

UNIRESEARCH BV

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 315 281,25

SEASCAPE CONSULTANTS LTD

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 188 603,75

GLOBAL SEA MINERAL RESOURCES

Belgium

EU Contribution

€ 455 812,50

BUREAU VERITAS - REGISTRE INTERNATIONAL DE CLASSIFICATION DE NAVIRES ET D'AERONEFS

France

EU Contribution

€ 6 342,60

STICHTING NIOZ, KONINKLIJK NEDERLANDS INSTITUUT VOOR ONDERZOEK DER ZEE

Netherlands

STICHTING NEDERLANDSE WETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERZOEK INSTITUTEN

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 1 271 442,50

RHEINISCH-WESTFAELISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE AACHEN

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 575 675

NORGES TEKNISK-NATURVITENSKAPELIGE UNIVERSITET NTNU

Norway

EU Contribution

€ 179 786,25

AARHUS UNIVERSITET

Denmark

EU Contribution

€ 170 968,75

UNIVERSITAT POLITECNICA DE CATALUNYA

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 102 500

BUREAU VERITAS MARINE & OFFSHORE REGISTRE INTERNATIONAL DE CLASSIFICATION DE NAVIRES ET DE PLATEFORMES OFFSHORE

France

EU Contribution

€ 128 922,40

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 688975

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 February 2016

  • End date

    31 July 2020

Funded under:

H2020-EU.3.5.3.

  • Overall budget:

    € 7 991 137,50

  • EU contribution

    € 7 991 137,50

Coordinated by:

IHC MINING BV

Netherlands