Manganese plenty in ocean off Goa

February 27th, 2009 - 7:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Feb 27 (IANS) Researchers with the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) claim to have discovered a large presence of manganese modules off Goa’s shore.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a Science Fiesta organised by the Goa government Friday, Vineesh T.C., a senior researcher with the NIO, said India was preparing to harvest these minerals from the ocean.

“The International Seabed Authority (ISA) has been kind enough to have licenced India to explore these polymetallic modules spread over an area of nearly 75,000 sq km in the sea,” he said.

Based in Jamaica, the ISA is an autonomous international body established under a 1982 UN Convention to organise and control activities in the seabed area. The convention considers the international seabed as common property of all human beings.

Describing manganese modules as an example of the generation next of mineral resources, Vineesh said research was on globally to make harvesting these marine mineral resources a financially viable option.

“These modules are polymetallic in nature. They have a component of copper and zinc,” he said. “With our existing conventional mineral stockpile steadily depleting, the ocean’s vast bed is the future of mineral harvesting.”

The seabed accounts for nearly 49 percent of the earth’s surface and covers an area in excess of 250 million sq km.

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