Joint Fall Meeting of the Board on Earth Sciences and Resource, its standing Committee on Earth Resources, and the Ocean Studies BoardBoard on Earth Sciences and Resources
November 14, 2017
Keck Center of the National Academies
500 Fifth St. NW Washington DC 20001
DAY TWO: Seafloor Mining
Deep-sea mining represents one of the frontiers for exploring commercially important mineral resources on Earth. Manganese nodules, ferromanganese crusts, massive sulfides, and metal-rich muds have the potential to provide economically important metals such as cobalt and copper, as well as rare earth elements that are critical for many technological applications. The challenges faced in identifying, characterizing, and extracting these resources can be great, yet companies are responding by creating new technologies that can efficiently map and mine the bottom. This session will provide a status update on progress related to deep-sea mining, including exploration of the global resource, discussion of technologies being used for extraction, and the environmental impacts that may occur as areas are opened up for mining. How do we evaluate and weigh the trade-offs?