Since 1971 we have supplied ploughs, trenchers and ROVs to the offshore telecommunications, oil & gas and renewables sectors. This extensive experience, coupled with improvements in technology have now enabled the provision of large remotely controlled underwater mining equipment for both deep-sea and inland water applications. SMD can offer mining, geotechnical, rock mechanics, subsea engineering, environmental, quality and integration skills and experience to provide expert advice, consultancy services and produce bankable feasibility studies. We are committed to providing submerged solutions and systems that enable mining operations to be achieved in an environmentally acceptable, sustainable and economically viable manner.
Average stripping ratios on land are increasing and average ore grades are decreasing. At the same time populations and mineral demand per capita are increasing. This has led to increased interest in alternative mineral sources. By 2015, one third of world oil production was from offshore sources. The same trend is emerging for harder minerals. Offshore resources are plentiful with high ore grades. In many cases these resources are unburied. The international seabed authority has put draft legislation in place for mining in international waters. In parallel, some governments have already put in place mining and environmental legislation for their exclusive economic areas. For particular types of mineral deposits, the new technology can also be used inland below the water table with many advantages over conventional mining from both a technical and environmental perspective.