Skip to the content

Eco-Safe Ridge Mining Project

Black smoker chimneys at the Fåvne hydrothermal vent field, Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge. Photo: Trond Mohn Centre for Deep-Sea Research/University of Bergen.
Black smoker chimneys at the Fåvne hydrothermal vent field, Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge. Photo: Trond Mohn Centre for Deep-Sea Research/University of Bergen.

Eco-Safe Ridge Mining is a three-year competence building project coordinated by the University of Bergen.

The project aims to fill key knowledge gaps, assess environmental risks and identify appropriate mitigation actions regarding deep-sea mining. The study area is the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge, where seafloor massive sulphide deposits containing strategic metals co-occur with vulnerable habitats such as hydrothermal vents and sponge grounds.

A better understanding of deep-sea ecosystems associated with seabed mineral deposits is crucial and timely to inform policy and management decisions, says Dr. Pedro Ribeiro, deep-sea ecologist and project leader at the University of Bergen.

To advance our understanding of the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge ecosystems and their response to disturbance, the project will collect baseline environmental data on different seabed habitats and characterize their natural state. Additional studies will determine how populations of organisms living at different sites are interconnected, enabling predictions about their ability to persist and recover from disturbance.

Possible environmental effects of mining plumes and tolerance thresholds of seabed biota will be investigated through modeling as well as laboratory and field experiments. In addition to targeting specific knowledge gaps related to mining, the project will promote scientific exploration of Arctic deep-sea ecosystems and provide training and education opportunities to young scientists.


Project Owners

University of Bergen

Partipcants
NORCE, University of Stavanger, the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Equinor, Norwegian oil and gas association, Loke Marine Minerals, Adepth Minerals and Aanderaa Data Instruments and GCE Ocean Technology.
Period 2021-2024
Funding total budget of approximately 18 million NOK, where more than 13 million is granted by the Research Council of Norway.
Result

The project aims to fill key knowledge gaps, assess environmental risks and identify appropriate mitigation actions regarding deep-sea mining.

Contact Information

Jon O. Hellevang

R&D Manager

Jon O. Hellevang