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Approach:

  1. Introduction – define deep sea mining.
  2. Discuss the benefits & consequences.
  3. Then write about sea-bed mining in India.
  4. Conclusion – importance of sea bed mining.

Deep sea mining is a relatively new mineral retrieval process that takes place on the ocean floor. The sites are usually around large areas of polymetallic nodules or active and extinct hydrothermal vents at 1400 to 3700 meters below the ocean surface.

Benefits of Deep sea mining:

  • Mineral explanation on land has reached saturation point and further mining can be disastrous for human communities given its potential for destruction of subsoil and agriculture. Against this backdrop open seas provide limitless opportunity to mine.
  • Sea bed mining can provide the needed mineral to meet the increasing demand from industries in developing countries.
  • Quality of copper and other material is far superior to what can be obtained on land.
  • It is also expected that deep sea mining would bring prosperity to small states in the Pacific, which are too remote to have a tourism Industry and only survive on fishing.

Environmental Impact:

  • Sea bed habitat degradation over vast ocean areas.
  • Species extinction.
  • Reduced habitat complexity.
  • Pollution may also occur at shallow depths though surface spills or leakage from the risers or discharge pipes.
  • Light and sound effects caused due to mining can have serious effect on marine fauna and seabirds.

Seabed mining in India:

  • India is one of the four countries that have staked its claim for hydrothermal sulphides.
  • It is the only country attempting to mine for polymetallic nodules in the Indian Ocean.
  • India has a status of pioneer investor and has been allotted a site in the central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) by the International Sea Bed Authority (1SA) for exploration and technology development for polymetallic nodule mining.
  • The area covers 10000 sq. Kms and is grouped into 5 clusters, each containing 15-30 blocks.

Deep sea mining has officially been recognised as a future frontier of scientific research in India. Deep sea mining is expected to meet India growing mineral requirement and increase the country’s self-sufficiency in near future.

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