The Deep Sea Mining Adventure: German stakeholders want a future cooperation with Norway

Recently, Germany presented the results of the examination of its Deep Sea Mining area of manganese nodules in the Pacific Ocean.  Germany needs partners for mining and transport of nodules. Norway was mentioned of  as a favored partner for these activities due to competencies within maritime and offshore technologies.

The German Federal Government has obtained licenses from the International Seabed Authority (ISA) with regard to Deep Sea Mining projects in two areas: manganese nodules in the Pacific Ocean and seafloor massive sulphides in the Indian Ocean.

Such a license obliges the license holder to assess the quantity of the deposits and to conduct comprehensive environmental examinations. These data are the basis for a pilot mining test which is an essential prerequisite for the future mining of these deposits.

Maritime and metallurgic technologies needed

In December, the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy presented the examination results conducted in the Pacific Ocean (manganese nodules) to delegates at the International Deep Sea Mining conference in Berlin. The English version of this presentation will be published soon.

Manganese deposits onthe seabed ©BGR Hannover

Manganese nodules on the seabed Photo: ©BGR Hannover

It turns out that there will be several interesting opportunity areas for Norwegian companies. Offshore and maritime technology for mining the deposits and for transporting the raw material is needed. Additionally, an improvement of the metallurgical process with regard to energy-efficiency and greater extraction yields can provide an opportunity for Norwegian companies.

Norway: A future partner

The State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Maritime Coordinator of the German Federal Government, Uwe Beckmeyer, emphasized the necessity of co-operation of European countries in order to push deep sea mining. Mr. Beckmeyer mentioned only France as an existing partner and Norway as a possible future partner. Furthermore, the attendance of several representatives from the industry (companies and clusters), researchers and politicians from Norway as well as the German office of Innovation Norway was perceived very positively by the German representatives.

Several Norwegian members are represented in the Deep Sea Mining Alliance . The Deep Sea Mining Alliance is very interested in a small and targeted meeting of Norwegian and German representatives, especially with the industry players, in order to discuss a potential co-operation between Norway and Germany. Norway is a very interesting co-operation partner for Germany due to the strong expertise within offshore/maritime technologies and due to deposits of seafloor massive sulphides in their own exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The deposits in Norway´s EEZ could be a good site for common activities possibly including a pilot mining test. Innovation Norway Germany is concretely following up these new opportunities for Norwegian businesses.

For more information about this opportunity, please get in touch with Arne Lüders (Arne.Lueders@innovationnorway.no) at Innovation Norway in Germany.

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