Example of studies conducted on deep-sea mineral resources

REMIMA, a foresight study on the deep-sea mineral resources conducted by IFREMER

In late 2009, IFREMER launched a foresight study on marine mineral resources from now to horizon 2030, with 24 partners representing the main stakeholders in France: ministries, private companies, research institutes, specialised agencies, and European Commission representatives.

The main issue of this study was the potential of the main deep-sea mineral resources that have strategic importance for France and the EU. The goal was to identify the issues, the potential of these resources, the conditions required for setting up their extraction and their development on the medium term to identify and initiate the appropriate collaborations and strategic programmes.

This study revealed sector-specific dynamics and concluded as to the consequences for the suggested actions to undertake, particularly a national research and development programme on the four types of deposits: hydrothermal sulphides, cobalt-rich and platinum-rich crusts, polymetallic nodules and natural hydrogen sources.

ESCO, study of the environmental impacts of the exploration and exploitation of deep-sea mineral resources

Given the growing importance of mineral resources -- particularly in the context of the depletion of continental sources, international tensions on the supply of certain metals – and France’s large capacity for exploration and access to new deep-sea mineral resources, the Ministry of Ecology and the Ministry of Research entrusted the CNRS and IFREMER to lead a collective scientific assessment group on the environmental impacts of exploration and exploitation of deep-sea mineral resources.

This collective scientific assessment group drafted a summary of the international scientific knowledge available on the subject and identified the scientific barriers and research and development activities to carry out to break them. Conducted until 2011, the study consisted of a rigorous analysis of international scientific and technical literature published until then. An objective summary was drafted, expressing neither opinions nor recommendations, but establishing the current state of knowledge in this field.

The ESCO report was published in June 2014.