Successful Initial Pilot Collection Runs for Collector Vehicle from Allseas Hidden Gem
Hundreds of thousands of mineral-rich polymetallic nodules have arrived on board Allseas’ production vessel Hidden Gem following successful initial pilot collection runs in the Pacific.
The vessel’s collector vehicle amassed more than 14t of nodules during a one-hour collection run on the seafloor at a depth of 4380m.
It is a pioneering moment for Allseas and partner TMC, being the first integrated system test conducted in the Pacific’s Clarion Clipperton Zone since the 1970s.
It comes less than two years since they embarked on construction of the pilot nodule collection system.
Nodules were transported 4.3 kilometres from the seafloor to the surface in 12 minutes via a jumper and riser system, which like the collector has been designed and built by Allseas engineers.
This milestone test run follows successful at-sea construction and deployment of the riser system and its integration with the flexible jumper hose and collector vehicle.
Behind the tests is a dedicated team of 130 crew and engineers on board Hidden Gem. Their ongoing efforts further illustrate why Allseas is top of class when it comes to pioneering offshore engineering and operations.
Not just looking at opportunities in current markets, they pioneer the technology that enables future and emerging industries.
As the world faces a myriad of challenges in transitioning to clean energy, polymetallic nodules will help meet a massive new demand for electric vehicle batteries and renewables technologies.
Michael Lodge – Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, “Commercial interest is currently focused on three types of marine mineral deposits. Polymetallic nodules occur throughout the ocean and are found lying on the sea floor in the abyssal plains, often partially buried in fine grain sediments.
“Nodules contain a wide variety of metals, including manganese, iron, copper, nickel, cobalt, lead and zinc, with important but minor concentrations of molybdenum, lithium, titanium, and niobium, among others.
“The most studied area of commercial interest is the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ) in the eastern Pacific, at water depths between 3,500 and 5,500 metres. This single deposit contains more nickel, manganese and cobalt than all terrestrial resources combined.
“Other areas of potential interest are the Central Indian Ocean basin and the exclusive economic zones of the Cook Islands, Kiribati and French Polynesia.”
Source Allseas, United Nations, Michael Lodge – Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority.