Indian Institute to Test Deep-Sea Mining Equipment

22 March 2010 (Last Updated March 22nd, 2010 18:30)

India's National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) will test indigenously built deep-sea mining equipment in April at a never before attempted depth of 1,100. The 15t crawler has already been tested at 500m and will eventually be used at depths up to 6,000m. It may take up

India's National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) will test indigenously built deep-sea mining equipment in April at a never before attempted depth of 1,100.

The 15t crawler has already been tested at 500m and will eventually be used at depths up to 6,000m.

It may take up to two weeks for the crawler to touch 1,100m into the deep, according to the Times of India.

The test will be conducted when the Sagar Nidhi, the only vessel capable of hosting the equipment in the country, will return from an Antarctic expedition.

The equipment will be used for mining the Indian Ocean for rare minerals, including magnesium, as part of a Rs 150 crore ($33m) project.

The equipment will be ready for large-scale mining operations after a couple of years.

The NIOT is also developing a remote operable vehicle mounted with sensors and cameras to explore ocean depths at 3,000m.