The MarMine project was launched in 2015 and included three research partners and 14 industry partners. NTNU was the project owner and the research was mainly carried out with NTNU and NIVA as the main actors. The industry partners representing e.g., oil and gas companies, oil service companies, subsea companies, shipping and mining companies.
Five research WPs were included in the project, WP1: Sample identification and collection; WP2: Mineral processing options for submarine massive sulphide ores; WP3: Feasibility study for a Deep-sea mining Pilot; WP4: Characterization and WP5: Methods to assess environmental impacts and recovery potential. Additionally, one WP was responsible for project management and dissemination of results.
The budget was 31.155 MNOK and a large portion of the budget was dedicated to the research cruise to the Arctic Mid Ocean Ridge, specifically, the Mohn´s Ridge. The cruise was carried out on board the Construction Support Vessel (CSV) Polar King. During the research cruise, two work class ROVs were used to collect geological (rocks and sediments), biological samples and imagery along video transects, as well as hyperspectral imaging. As part of the cruise, an ROV mounted drill rig (ROCS) was developed and tested for drilling rocks and sediments on the seafloor. The Hugin HUS AUV was equipped with several detectors and sensors for collection of e.g. bathymetry and magnetometry data, hyperspectral imaging, methane and Conductivity, Temperature and Depth (CTD). A full report from the cruise and all activities at sea can be found in the MarMine Cruise Report (https://ntnuopen.ntnu.no/ntnu-xmlui/handle/11250/2427715).
All sample material and data were brought back to the mainland and processed and analysed, mainly at NTNU but some also at the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU) and NIVA and their partners.
The research in the project was carried out by scientific staff at NTNU and researchers at partner organizations. At NTNU, two postdocs (WP2 and WP4) and 1 PhD candidate (WP1) were funded through the project. Additionally, 1 PhD student funded by NTNU Ocean worked directly under the MarMine project (WP3). In close cooperation with the Deep-Sea Mining Pilot under NTNU Ocean, two PhD candidates (participated on the research cruise) and one postdoctoral researcher was indirectly involved with the project and based parts of their research on data and/or material from the cruise. Also, two master theses have been completed on data from the project (Paulsen, E., 2017; Reimers, H., 2017).
Post research-cruise research included sampling and analyses of the collected rocks and sediment material, and biological samples from the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge. Peer reviewed journal articles and conference presentations have been published based on the results from all five work packages.
Communications from the MarMine consortium includes:
17 peer reviewed publications
43 conference papers, presentation and posters
17 other outreach and media contributions
Link to a list of all communications from the MarMine project can be found here: https://bit.ly/2KxQ95X
In addition to the above-mentioned communications, the MarMine project has contributed to extend the networks of the individual researcher as well as research groups within the research partner organizations. Industry partners have been given access to data and research results as well as broadened networks towards the deep-sea mining community. Some of the industry partners have applied knowledge obtained from projects such as the MarMine project to further determine their short- and long-term strategies within deep sea mining.
The project ended formally on December 31st, 2020 but research on sample material and data collected from the research cruise in 2016 to the Mohn´s Ridge will continue.
Bidrag til kunnskap om havbunnen og mineraliseringen på Lokeslottet som kan brukes i vurdering av økonomiske og teknologiske potensialet i massive sulfidforekomster på havbunnen (SMS) langs den Arktiske Midt-havsryggen (AMOR) og i en fremtidig vurdering av det globale potensialet. Bidratt til metoder for effektiv datainnsamling og tolkning av data. Pøvematerialet har gitt økt kunnskap om mineraliseringene og kan danne grunnlag for framtidig økonomisk utnyttelse av slike mineralforekomster. Spesielt knyttet til teknologiske valg og design av brytningssystemer i norske farvann og utvinning av de verdifulle mineralene fra malmen. Utviklingen av geologiske dannelsesmodeller for SMS forekomster som bidrar i utviklingen av fremtidige letestrategier. Magnetometridata fra Mohnsskatten, ledet til identifikasjon av nye hydrotermale felt under OD sitt tokt til Mohnsryggen i 2019. Viktig innputt til behovet for kunnskap om økosystemer langs AMOR.
The MarMine project focus on research related to exploitation technologies for production of seafloor massive sulphide deposits on the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge within the extended Norwegian continental shelf.
The project is organized in six WPs, were five are technical and scientific and the sixth is project management. The first work package in the project will focus on identification of sample sites, the actual sampling and remote characterisation of marine seafloor massive sulphide deposits (SMS) on the Arctic mid ocean ridge (AMOR) inside the Norwegian jurisdiction. The depth of the most likely sampling sites varies from 100 to 3500 meters. Data and physical rock samples from the cruise will further be used in the other WPs for experimental work. WP 2 will conduct assessment of the grade and recovery potential of SMS ore subjected to conventional processing, reveal limitations of existing technology due to the submarine aspect, as well as investigate the potential for alternative processing solutions. WP 3 will work on establishing concepts for mining and exploitation of the sampled SMS deposits based on the assessment of the rock mechanical properties of the ore and wall rocks. WP 4 will quantify and describe process mineralogical properties including rock mechanical properties of the sampled SMS deposits. WP 5 will conduct an ecological baseline study and ecotoxicological tests to assess environmental impact of SMS mining on active and inactive vents. Results from the project will be published in national and international journals and conferences and will contribute to equip the Norwegian mining industry and Norwegian service-, technology- and knowledge suppliers with tools to face the future challenges related to deep sea mining.