Germany examines the degradation of metal-containing tubers in the deep sea within the framework of a European research project. In the Pacific between Hawaii and Mexico a device is tested until mid-May, which can accommodate so-called manganese seams from the seabed, the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Raw Materials (BGR) on Wednesday. The tubers contain raw materials that are important for renewable energy technologies and electrical gersides, in addition to manganese are the nickel, copper and cobalt.
Giant vacuums on the seabed
The works for the project "Mining impact" First of all, take place in a Belgian, then in a German manganese license area. The Collector Prototype of the Belgian Company Global Sea Mineral Resources (GSR) is drained in 4500 meters depth. The prototype named "Patania II "exists according to BGR message from a suspension and a hydraulic recording system, over which the tubers are sucked together with the surrounding sediment. According to GSR, the tuber collector is supplied and controlled by a five kilometer long cable from the ship with energy.
In addition, two dive robots and about 40 different sensors on the seabed are in use. A team of 23 scientists aboard the Norwegian ship "Iceland Pride" should explore the environmental impact. According to the BGR it is the world’s first test of this kind.
Greenpeace warns against species dies
The Environmental Protection Organization Greenpeace warned to exploit the seabed. "Industrial Deep Sea Energbau was accelerating the rapid species dies in the oceans. This ecological catastrophe must be prevented", said the marine biologist Sandra Schottner. Already in the night of Tuesday, Greenpeace activists demonstrated in the northeast of Pacific on the ship "Rainbow Warrior" before the industrial christ "Maersk Launcher", From the Canadian company Deepgreen Metals the raw material reduction tarpaulin.
The BGR has been exploring a manganese area in the Pacific since 2006 on behalf of the Federal Government. The basis for this is a contract with the international marine floor workers, which gives Germany the exclusive right, for 15 years on a sea area of 75.000 square kilometers to examine the inventory of the manganese and the environmental conditions. The project runs on the 18th. July. The exploration requires a possible industrial use. The aim is to ensure the supply of Germany with raw materials such as manganese, nickel, copper and cobalt long term. So far, Germany depends on imports from other countries.