Marine Biology Research Group involved in expedition to exploration area for deep-sea mining

Monday, May 8, 2017
In 1 week, three staff members of the Marine Biology Research Group will board the vessel MV Topaz Captain to participate in an offshore expedition led by the Belgian company GSR (Global Sea Mineral Resources; part of the DEME Group). The marine scientists are involved in the biological components of the exploration for future deep-sea mining in the GSR license area, located in the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone (between Mexico and Hawaii). The region is of commercial interest, owing to the high abundances of polymetallic nodules, which contain various metals and rare earth elements. The expedition will combine baseline research (including oceanography, biology, geology, and resource definition) and the first step towards developing deep-sea technology in the light of mining. In total, 26 staff members - ranging from biologists and engineers to interns - and about the same number of crew members will be aboard the Topaz Captain for a period of about 5 weeks.