As the earth’s population continues to increase and living standards are raised across the globe, so too do the mineral requirement per capita, and the demand for technology and renewable energy.
Minerals are vital to drive both of these factors; whilst there are improvements in initiatives concerning the recycling, substitution and re-use of minerals as part of an aspirational circular economy, these initiatives are not keeping pace with the minerals required for a low carbon future.
As such, offshore mineral collection can play a pivotal role in the clean energy revolution.
There is a strong market demand for next generation vehicles, capable of collecting deep-sea minerals at commercial production rates, whilst creating the minimum seabed disturbance. SMD’s QC Nodule Collection offers a promising solution. This patent pending range has been expertly designed to collect polymetallic nodules in depths as great as 6,000 metres. Available in a range of sizes and designed with a ‘least impact’ philosophy at its core, this collection methodology offers a highly efficient solution for retrieving the required minerals, whilst minimising the disruption to the subsea environment.
The QC range contains four revolutionary vehicles, each one operating in a sustainable, yet economically viable manner. Engineered to have a low submerged weight, these vehicles utilise light plastic tracks and buoyant syntactic foam, perfectly demonstrating SMD’s pioneering approach to subsea engineering.
Speaking on the range, SMD’s Principal Engineer of Minerals Technology, Ian Maskell, said: “At SMD, we pride ourselves on creating innovative new technologies, capable of revolutionising the marine industry – our mineral collection equipment is certainly no exception.
The least impact QC collection ranges from the QC1000, perfect for prototype testing, to the QC2000 MAX, a commercially viable nodule collector designed for peak nodule productivity. Using a unique nodule separation method, our mineral collectors significantly reduce the impact on the seabed surface, only disturbing the absolute minimum of materials required to harvest the desired polymetallic nodules, which in turn vastly reduces the generation of plumes.
“I am proud to say that when it comes to the QC range, sustainability and productivity go hand in hand: whilst utilising low-impact methods, our vehicles consistently achieve collection efficiencies of no less than 97 per cent, and typically 100 per cent, setting the standard for engineering excellence worldwide.”
SMD understands that each subsea project brings with it a unique set of requirements. That’s why its expert engineers can customise each vehicle in the QC range, delivering a bespoke solution to suit specific requirements.
To find out more about SMD’s pioneering range of mineral extraction equipment, download the brochure, or contact Ian Maskell.