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LETTERS: Key questions on seabed mining

Thursday 2 June 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Opinion

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LETTERS: Key questions on seabed mining

Dear Editor, reading an article in the paper dated 31.05.22, the Prime Minister touched on the subject of deep sea mining as part of our nation’s plan for diversification.

For whatever reason, I was unable to attend the workshops that were held last year, specifically about this, but I just have a couple of general questions that perhaps others that were unable to attend might like to know too.

It is apparently common knowledge in this industry that there are multiple minerals found in these nodules, e.g. zinc, gold and rare earth (currently the most sought-after mineral on the planet). Have these nodules been tested for minerals than manganese? If so, what other minerals were found? If not, why not?

Will there be dredging? What pumps will be used? How many pumps will be used? What decibel rating is each pump? How many vacuums will be used? What is the decibel rating of the vacuum? What is the surface radius of the vacuum? What back pressure can the pump handle?

Where will the discharge go? Back into the ocean?

Are the rigs fixed or moving? If fixed, how? Cables or bolts? Where will it be fixed and how long will it be there for? How is the rig fuelled?

How much fuel will the rig need? E.g. land based exploration rig uses 1000L per day on average and is less than ¼ size.

How will the fuel be transported to the rig?

Who will be employed to do this?

Where will the fuel come from?

Apologies if some of this information has been expressed already and I just missed it. It would be good for us, the community, to have this basic understanding as a minimum. 

Eagerly await the information

(Name and address supplied)