UNDERWATER MINERAL EXTRACTION
We have been involved in the development subsea mineral extraction technology with a range of experienced industry partners for over ten years. Through experience we understand the importance of focussing our effort on developing subsea mineral extraction tools and processes which offer the most environmentally friendly and efficient solution for the subsea environment. Without this type of solution we don’t see how subsea mineral extraction can be commercially viable.
Our 50 years in subsea intervention has given us unmatched expertise and understanding of the environments in which our technology operates. With the delivery of over 400 systems globally, and seven world firsts, our experience unparalleled.
In 2007 we were awarded the contract to design and build the world’s first deep sea mineral extraction vehicles. These three remotely-controlled machines, the largest of which is 300 tonnes, were designed to recover seafloor massive sulphides (SMS). This massive feat of engineering concluded in 2016 with the completion of three vehicles and all the accompanying equipment totalling over 1,000 tonnes.
In 2015 SMD was assigned as technical manager of a project which successfully designed, built and site tested robotic underwater mining equipment and its associated launch and recovery equipment. The purpose of this project was to develop technology that could tap into the wealth of unexploited European mineral resources.
This project enabled SMD to build on successful deep-sea excavation techniques to provide a safer and cleaner option for extracting previously unreachable and/or uneconomic mineral deposits.