Sultan azam Assistant Professor Department of Mining Engg. Kalinga University, Naya Raipur Deep Sea Mining Nowadays as our needs and necessity are increasing in this emerging technology era we need more gadgets, electronic equipment, solar panels, wind power, equipment, and battery storage as technology advances our dependencies is increasing day by day on smartphones and smart devices this leads to create a massive demand of semiconductor materials this ultimately creates a massive demand of minerals like cobalt, zinc, silicon, lithium, and due to all of this circumstances increasing demand for minerals and to meet future requirements of minerals depleting terrestrial mineral only is not sufficient. Where deep sea mining comes into the picture basically deep sea mining is a way of extracting valuable mineral present in the deep sea bed below 200m meters or 4000-5000 meters below the sea level in the form of nodules there is a tremendous amount of mineral present like nickel chromium cobalt zink silicon and various other valuable mineral presents that can change the Indian economy to meet our digital world requirement But mining in the deep sea below is quite challenging. As we know there are various kinds of marine species below the sea. In the entire world 3 billion people directly or indirectly whose livelihood depends on marine. All these things should be dealt with while mining in the seabed without harming the marine ecosystem in the deep sea beneath the various geological features present volcanic, underwater mountains known as sea mounts, hydrothermal vents and deep sea trenches like the Mariana Trench these places where many species lives in harsh condition like lack of sunlight and high pressure. Experts suggest many of these species are even unknown to science. These are the challenges to be dealt with along with mining challenges like high pressure exerted by water and a high temperature near the volcanic vent various other challenges to be dealt with without harming biodiversity and the ecosystem By May 2022 the international seabed authority (ISA) which regulates activities in the sea bed had issued 31 countries to explore deep sea mineral deposits of more than 1.5 km square of international sea bed. India started working on deep-sea mining technology very early it started at least 40 years ago in Jan 1981 when the Indian research vessel Gaveshani recovered the first polymetallic nodules sample from the Indian ocean bed an area of 75000 km square area has been approved by ISA to India as per contract. Valuable minerals like cobalt zink, iron, nickel, manganese copper and others are present in the form of polymetallic nodules but as earlier explained in this article that mining is not easy for those polymetallic nodules present below the sea for those current technologies for deep-sea mining is in developing or in trial stage but are not commercially available at present. The National Institute of ocean technology is continuously working on these complex technologies various trials are also been performed Presently deep sea mining is not allowed by ISA commercially but exploration is allowed at the moment. But in the near future, you will witness the fulfilment of the demand for minerals through deep sea mining along with securing our marine biodiversity and ecosystem.
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