Fugro is set to begin its first project supporting deep sea polymetallic nodule mining under a contract awarded by seafloor mineral exploration company Nauru Ocean Resources Inc. (NORI), a subsidiary of DeepGreen Metals Inc. In the deep waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean, its specialist marine geoscience team will perform detailed site characterisation surveys.
The project will commence on 19th April and will advance NORI’s polymetallic nodule project. Polymetallic nodules are potato-sized concretions enriched in nickel, copper and cobalt. These nodules also contain metals and non-metals important to ‘green-tech’ enterprises, such as electric vehicles and wind energy production.
The site characterisation surveys will involve acquisition of high-resolution imagery and geophysical data, and sampling of minerals from the seafloor. Fugro will also measure geotechnical properties, catalogue the mineral resource and help the client determine optimal mining areas. The data acquisition and sampling will take place in water depths of up to 4,500 metres over an area of 400 square kilometres between the Clarion and Clipperton fracture zones. The field work will be accomplished using the company’s Echo Surveyor VII autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and specialised seafloor sampling equipment.
“We are excited to be working with NORI and DeepGreen Metals Inc. on our first ever project to support deep sea polymetallic nodule mining,” said Dan McConnell, Fugro’s global product manager for gas hydrates and marine minerals. “Fugro has much to offer in terms of specialised ultra-deepwater survey, resource assessment and oceanographic and environmental studies and we look forward to demonstrating that value through this project.”
“Fugro’s sector leading technology, technical capabilities and track record of success make it the perfect partner to assist DeepGreen and Nauru Ocean Resources Inc. to begin producing metals for our future,” added Gerard Barron, CEO of DeepGreen Metals Inc.
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Fugro is the world’s leading, independent provider of geo-intelligence and asset integrity solutions. Fugro acquires and analyses data on topography and the subsurface, soil composition, meteorological and environmental conditions, and provides related advice. With its geo-intelligence and asset integrity solutions Fugro supports the safe, efficient and sustainable development and operation of buildings, industrial facilities and infrastructure and the exploration and development of natural resources.
Fugro works around the globe, predominantly in energy and infrastructure markets offshore and onshore, employing approximately 10,000 people in 65 countries. In 2017, revenue amounted to EUR 1.5 billion. The company is listed on Euronext Amsterdam.