Similar to some other countries such as China, the quest for minerals in the deep sea has been on India’s radar for some time now. Recently, in June 2021, it got a significant boost as the Indian government approved a ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ to explore the ocean for resources and develop deep-sea technologies for sustainable use of ocean resources.
But the move towards deep seabed mining has also reignited concerns that many environmental organisations have been pointing out over the potential harm it could cause to marine biodiversity.
The proposal of the Indian government’s Ministry of Earth Sciences was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an estimated cost of about Rs 4,077 crore for a period of five years.
It is scheduled to be implemented in a phase-wise manner and would focus on the development of technologies for deep-sea mining, and manned submersible which will be developed to carry three people to a depth of 6,000 metres in the ocean with a suite of scientific sensors and tools. At present, only a very few countries have acquired this capability.
The government said an integrated mining system will be also developed for “mining polymetallic nodules from 6,000-metre depth in the central Indian Ocean.” India will focus on exploring and identifying potential sites of “multi-metal hydrothermal sulphides mineralisation along the Indian Ocean mid-oceanic ridges.”
For the rest of this article: https://science.thewire.in/environment/with-deep-ocean-mission-india-begins-quest-for-seabed-minerals-in-earnest/