Deep Ocean Mission

Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India is all set to launch ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ by January 2018. This will improve India’s position in ocean research field.

Background | Deep Ocean Mission 

  • The program on Polymetallic nodules was initiated at CSIR-NIO with the collection of the first nodule sample from Arabian Sea on board the first Research Vessel Gaveshani on 26 January 1981.
  • India was the first country in the world to have been given the Pioneer Area for exploration of deep-sea mineral viz. Polymetallic nodules in the Central Indian Ocean Basin in 1987.
  • This was based on the extensive surveys carried out by the scientists of CSIR-NIO, on several research ships leading to the allocation of an area of 150,000 sq km to the country with exclusive rights under the UN Law of the sea.

Details | Deep Ocean Mission 

  • Based on the resource evaluation, India has now retained an area of 75,000 sq km with an estimated resource of about 100 million tons of strategic metals such Copper, Nickel, Cobalt besides Manganese and Iron.
  • A First Generation Mine-site (FGM) with an area of 18,000 sq km has been identified. Latest technologies for extraction of metals from the minerals have also been developed under the programme.
  • Detailed environmental data has been collected for compliance with International Seabed Authorities requirements.
  • Besides identifying the mineral resource and developing technologies for mining and extraction, the programme has also resulted in high impact research as well as manpower development.

Raj Malhotra IAS Study Group.