Mineral Resources | Priorities

Research focus

The focus of the group is on the exploration of various marine mineral deposits (manganese nodules, massive sulphides, iron-manganese crusts, phosphorites) and analyses of their resource potential. Looking to the future, one research focus is the investigation of possible environmental impacts of deep-sea mining. 

Distribution of Marine Mineral Resources

  • Resource research at regional level - setting up predictive models of possible mineral deposits (predictive mapping)
  • Production of geological maps of the deep sea
  • Global resource assessment and standardisation of work protocols taking into account numerical modelling.

Environmental impacts of deep sea mining

  • Comprehensive assessment of the potential environmental impact of deep-sea mining
  • Introduction and control of deep-sea areas declared worldwide as environmental protection zones (Areas of Particular Environmental Interest)
  • Development of standards and guidelines for environmental assessment and the establishment of innovative technologies in exploration, pilot mining tests and potential mining activities
  • Development of environmentally friendly, zero-waste processing methods for manganese nodules and iron-manganese crusts
  • Legal control and monitoring of deep-sea resources

Stakeholder exchange

  • Advising politics and the economy
  • Public relations work in a wide range of media; taking into account social aspects and involving society in the issue of deep-sea mining with the aim of providing unbiased information to all stakeholders (honest broker).
  • Assessing the impact of potential deep-sea mining on other onshore economic sectors (e.g. land mining).

Further information on the subject of deep-sea mining