China and India may partner for seabed mineral exploration in Indian Ocean

10 May 2015 (Last Updated May 10th, 2015 18:30)

China has offered to partner with India on seabed mining in the Indian Ocean, which is believed to host expensive minerals.

China has offered to partner with India on seabed mining in the Indian Ocean, which is believed to host expensive minerals.

Proposed plans come after a Chinese deep-sea manned submersible vessel, Jiaolong, completed a 118-day voyage in the south-west of the ocean.

The vessel has discovered deep-sea fissures, among others, which could support future research into resources and environments of seafloor deposits, reported ChinaDaily.

"If we cooperate, we could share the costs, the risks and the benefits."

China Ocean Mineral Resource R&D Association (COMRA) deputy director He Zongyu said: "China and India are both developing countries and contractors with the International Seabed Authority, so we have a lot in common and plenty of opportunities for further cooperation."

Last month, State Oceanic Administration deputy director Chen Lianzeng suggested that the two countries collaborate on seabed exploration and oceanic research and development.

Lianzeng said: "If we cooperate, we could share the costs, the risks and the benefits."

Deep seabed mining is said to be a high-risk and high-capital business with costs for a mining project estimated at CNY10bn ($1.6bn).

COMRA is an organisation responsible for exploration and exploitation on the seabed, ocean floor and subsoil.

In 2011, COMRA signed exploration contracts with the International Seabed Authority for exploration of polymetallic sulphides and cobalt-rich Ferromanganese crusts in the Indian Ocean.