Seabed Mineral Deposits in European Seas: Metallogeny and Geological Potential for Strategic and Critical Raw Materials

The project MINDeSEA results of the collaboration between eight GeoERA Partners and four Non-funded Organizations at various points of common interest for exploration and investigation on seafloor mineral deposits. This project addresses an integrative metallogenetic study of principal types of seabed mineral resources (hydrothermal sulfides, ferromanganese crusts, phosphorites, marine placers and polymetallic nodules) in the European Seas. The MINDeSEA working group has both knowledge of and expertise in such types of mineralisation, providing exploration results, sample repositories and databases to produce innovative contributions. The importance of submarine mineralisation systems is related to the abundance and exploitation-potential of many strategic metals and Critical Raw Materials (CRM), necessary for the modern society development.
The objectives of this project are the following: 1) Characterise deposit types; 2) Characterise the trace element content of the deposit type including CRM; 3) Identify the principal metallogenic provinces; 4) Develop harmonised mineral maps and datasets of seabed deposits incorporating GSO datasets, along with mineral-potential and prospectivity maps; 5) Demonstrate how the cases study results can be used in off-shore mineral exploration; 6) Analyse present-day exploration and exploitation status in terms of regulation, legislation, environmental impacts, exploitation and future directions. 7) Demonstrate efficiency of a pan-European research approach to understanding seabed minerals and modes of exploration.