Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) is now working on the next stage of Chatham Rock Phosphateâ€™s undersea project, following successful meetings in the Netherlands.
Representatives from the two companies have just concluded a number of meetings in Papendrecht, the Netherlands with Boskalis making it clear it wishes to proceed to the next stage of development.
CRP and Boskalis are now entering detailed discussions on agreements detailing the way forward.
The two companies have been working together for the past year since Boskalis was appointed as the projectâ€™s technical partner to design a process to extract phosphate nodules from the seabed. CRP appointed Boskalis in June 2011 as a result of a selection process involving three of the four industry leaders.
â€śWe have developed a great working partnership with Boskalis and a wide range of their senior managers, engineers and technical advisers,â€ť Managing Director Chris Castle said. â€śBoskalis people are very focused on the success of this project and we are working well together.”
CRP holds an offshore prospecting permit covering an area of 4726 km2 on the central Chatham Rise. The permit area, in New Zealand territorial waters, is located 450 km east of Christchurch and includes significant shallow seabed deposits of rock phosphate. The initial term of the permit is two years with rights to either extend the prospecting permit or apply for a mining licence.
Establishment of a rock phosphate industry in New Zealand territorial waters has a significant number of economic, environmental and market benefits.
The meetings considered a detailed report from Boskalis on a proposed extraction method for the rock phosphate resource. The report had previously been analysed by four international experts advising CRP who also attended the meetings.
Also discussed were initial findings from the wealth of environmental, geotechnical and engineering data collected during four cruises on the Chatham Rise over 48 days during the 2011-12 summer.
The next stage of the project for the remainder of 2012 will involve Boskalis refining its methodology for recovering and separating the phosphate nodules, applying adapted and proven technologies. The key considerations include capital and operating costs, minimisation of possible environmental effects and the optimisation of operating efficiencies.
Boskalis is also closely involved in associated environmental impact studies presently underway.
Mr Castle said the continuing enthusiasm shown by Boskalis was an extremely significant vote of confidence by such a major world player.
â€śWe have established a great partnership and the breadth of skills and experience that Boskalis can draw on internationally is something we could never hope to tap into by ourselves.â€ť
Peter Berdowski, CEO of Boskalis: â€śWe see the fledgling deep-sea mining industry as an interesting growth opportunity that fits perfectly with our position as the leading dredging and marine experts. The Chatham Rise project allows us to draw on our wealth of expertise to contribute to the successful development of this unique project together with our partner Chatham.â€ť
Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. is a leading global services provider operating in the dredging, maritime infrastructure and maritime services sectors. Boskalis provides creative and innovative solutions to infrastructural challenges in the maritime, coastal and delta regions of the world including the construction and maintenance of ports and waterways, land reclamation, coastal defense and riverbank protection. It offers a wide variety of marine services through SMIT and has other strategic partnerships in the Middle East (Archirodon) and in offshore services (Lamnalco).
The company holds important home market positions in and outside of Europe. Boskalis has a versatile fleet of over 1,100 units and operates in over 75 countries across six continents. Including its share in partnerships, Boskalis has approximately 14,000 employees.
Dredging Today Staff, July 9, 2012