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ArticleName Cassette-type dredging equipment for excavation of iron–manganese concretions from ocean floor
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2015.12.13
ArticleAuthor Kirichenko Yu. V., Kashirsky A. S.

Mining College, NUST MIS&S, Moscow, Russia:
Yu. V. Kirichenko, Lecturer, Professor, Doctor of Engineering Sciences


Noncommercial Partnership of Mining Industrialists of Russia, Moscow, Russia:
A. S. Kashirsky, Adviser for General Director,


The authors characterize the strategic importance and state-of-the-art of geologicaltechnological research and commercial level mining of hard minerals on the ocean floor. The article gives information on chemistry, physico-mechanical properties and occurrence conditions of iron–manganese concretions (IMC). A special emphasis is laid on IMC occurrences in Clarion–Clipperton Zone in the international waters of the Pacific Ocean and in the national waters of the Russian Arctic. Furthermore, it is informed on experience of IMC excavation carried out by Petrotrans Ltd in the Gulf of Finnish in the Baltic Sea with next following review of patent documentation and scientific-technical literature concerned with the deep-sea mineral mining. The authors emphasize low efficiency and impact exerted on marine ecosystem by current methods of IMC mining on the floor of oceans and marginal seas. Having stated the growing interest of the developed countries, including Russia, in the underwater excavation of IMC and other similar natural formations, the authors offer conceptual project of a technology-and-equipment set for IMC mining, taking to water surface and transportation based on the original design of a cassette-type dredging machine to be manufactured in two variants, considering depth of mining and minimization of mining cost. It is highlighted that the commercial implementation of the proposed method will allow solutions to actual problems connected with economic efficiency and environmental safety of deep-sea mining of concretion  deposits. It is emphasized that mining of iron–manganese concretions on the ocean floor will enable compensating for the deficit of such strategic metal as manganese in Russia.

keywords Ocean floor minerals, concretions, geological exploration, mineral deposit development, impact on marine ecosystem, conceptual project, original technology-andequipment set, cassette-type dredging machine

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