Covering 15,000,000 km2, the pan-European seas represent a promising new frontier for the exploration of mineral resources. The GeoERA-MINDeSEA consortium, a cooperative network of 12 Geological Surveys and Marine Institutes, is facing this exploration challenge. 688 seabed mineral occurrences are described in the MINDeSEA database, GIS cartographies and reports, containing valuable information on geology, metallogeny, critical raw materials prospectivity and mineral potential. Five types of mineral deposits are investigated, including seafloor massive sulphides, ferromanganese crusts, phosphorites, polymetallic nodules and placers. Many of the deposits exhibit a polymetallic nature that include one or more battery metals such as cobalt, lithium, manganese, tellurium, nickel, rare earth elements, copper, and other strategic and critical metals. These deposits are being explored using cutting-edge technologies both onboard ship and at labs, as well as in seabed mineral occurrences under the jurisdiction of European coastal states, all of which may provide an alternative sustainable resource to land-based mineral deposits. Maps on the seafloor mineral occurrences and their metallogeny for energy-critical elements are being produced for the first time to support European climate actions and growth strategies. An enormous challenge in terms of research, technological innovation, environmental protection, spatial planning and social license is facing the European and international research and sustainable development plans. MINDeSEA will identify areas for sustainable development and information to support decision-making on management and Marine Spatial Planning in pan-European seas as part of its core actions.
The dedicated website (https://geoeramindesea.wixsite.com/mindesea) and Social Media (https://twitter.com/MINDeSEA) provide more detailed information about the project MINDeSEA.
Javier Gonzalez1, Teresa Medialdea1, Henrik Schiellerup2, Irene Zananiri3, Pedro Ferreira4, Luis Somoza1, Xavier Monteys5, Trevor Alcorn5, Egidio Marino1, Ana Lobato1, Thomas Kuhn6, Johan Nyberg7, Vitor Magalhaes8, Rosario Lunar9, Boris Malyuk10, James Hein11, Georgy Cherkashov12
1Marine Geology, Geological Survey of Spain (IGME) C/ Ríos Rosas 23, 28003 Madrid, Spain; 2Geological Survey of Norway (NGU); 3Hellenic Survey of Geological and Mineral Exploration (HSGME). Greece; 4National Laboratory of Energy and Geology (LNEG). Portugal; 5Geological Survey Ireland (GSI); 6Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR). Germany; 7Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU); 8Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA); 9Geosciences Institute (IGEO). Spain; 10SRDE “GeoInform of Ukraine” (GIU); 11S. Geological Survey (USGS). USA; 12Institute for Geology and Mineral Resources of the Ocean (VNIIOkeangeologia). Russia