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New Marine Mineral Discovery

Group photo
From left; Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde, State Secretary OED, Linn Olsen (UiB), Ida Gabrielsen (UiB), Dag Bering (NPD) and Håvard Stubseid (UiB), with marine mineral samples taken by UiB (to the left) and NPD (to the right) at UMC 2018.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) announced the success of their first marine mineral cruise at this year’s Underwater Mining Conference (UMC) in Bergen. NPD has discovered a large area of sulphide minerals, previously unknown during the expedition.

The expedition was conducted from the Seabed Worker vessel, which is owned by Swire Seabed. The deposits could include important industrial metals such as copper, zinc, cobalt, nickel, vanadium, wolfram and silver.

Large Areas to be Explored

During this year’s expedition, the NPD surveyed an area of 90 x 35 km centrally located over the Mohn’s ridge in the western part of the Norwegian Sea, where water depths ranges between 1200 to 3500 metres. The cruise lasted 3 weeks and was carried out using a Kongsberg Hugin AUV, which mapped the seabed in long corridors, totalling 750 kilometres. Even if the explored area is quite large, it only covers a small part of the Norwegian Sea with potential of holding marine minerals.

New Subsea Frontier

A new record of more than 200 participants joined UMC this year to get the latest updates about marine mineral themes like legal-, technical-, environmental and economic issues.

Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde, State Secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy gave the introductory speech. She emphasised Norway’s strong position within the ocean industries and the unique opportunity to take a leading position in creating a new ocean industry. We can build on strong interaction and collaboration between existing industries, in particular between the petroleum and maritime sectors.

Tybring-Gjedde used the opportunity to meet with several students from the University of Bergen to discuss the potential within marine minerals as a new ocean industry.

Contact Information

Jon O. Hellevang

R&D Manager

Jon O. Hellevang