European Consortium Launches Blue Nodules

A European consortium launched on February 1st a new Horizon 2020 project: Blue Nodules.

This project addresses the challenge of creating a viable and sustainable value chain to retrieve polymetallic nodules from the ocean floor.

It will develop and test new highly-automated and sustainable technologies for deep-sea mining with minimal environmental pressures.

The technical side of the project is dedicated to subsea harvesting equipment in addition to the insitu seafloor and sea surface processing of polymetallic nodules.

The operational aspect focuses on sea operations and logistics, including compliance with, and development of, rules and regulations, and the business case. The independent, dedicated environmental part will focus on environmental pressures and on an Environmental Impact Assessment.

In all areas, Blue Nodules will build on the results of the European FP7 projects, MIDAS and Blue Mining and the EcoMining pilot action funded by the JPI Oceans initiative of the European science foundations.

On 9 and 10 February, the coordinator of the project, IHC Mining, part of Royal IHC in the Netherlands, will host the Blue Nodules kick-off meeting at its premises in Kinderdijk.

About Blue Nodules

Blue Nodules is a four-year EU-funded project that launches in February 2016 and is part of Horizon 2020’s Research and Innovation action.

The project aims to develop ‘Breakthrough Solutions for the Sustainable Harvesting and Processing of Deep Sea Polymetallic Nodules’ and is granted for the call SC5-11c-2015 ‘Deep mining on continent and/or in sea-bed’.

The consortium consists of 14 leading industry and research partners from nine European countries:

Royal IHC – IHC Mining B.V. – The Netherlands;

Dredging International – Belgium;

Continental AG – United Kingdom & Hungary;

IHC MTI – The Netherlands;

De Regt Marine Cables – The Netherlands;

Uniresearch – The Netherlands;

Seascape Consultants Ltd. – United Kingdom;

GSR – Belgium;

Bureau Veritas – France;

NIOZ – The Netherlands;

RWTH Aachen – Germany;

NTNU – Norway;

Aarhus University – Denmark;

UPC – Spain.


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