Aspects of Estimation and Reporting of Mineral Resources of Seabed Polymetallic Nodules: A Contemporaneous Case Study

John Parianos, Ian Lipton, Matthew Nimmo
2021 Minerals  
Exploration of seabed polymetallic nodules identifies the Clarion Clipperton Zone and the Indian Ocean Nodule Field to be of economic interest. Mineral resource estimation is important to the owner of the resource (all of mankind; and managed by the International Seabed Authority; ISA) and to developers (commercial and government groups holding contracts with the ISA). The Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards was developed for the land-based minerals industry and
more » ... ted in 2015 for ISA-managed nodules. Nodules can be sampled in a meaningful manner using mechanical devices, albeit with minor issues of bias. Grade and moisture content are measured using the established methodology for land-based minerals. Tonnage of resource is determined via the abundance of nodules in kilograms per square metre of seabed. This can be estimated from physical samples and, in some cases, from photographs. Contemporary resource reporting for nodules classify the level of confidence in the estimate, by considering deposit geology, sample geostatistics, etc. The reporting of estimates also addresses reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction, including factors such as mining technology, the marine environment, metallurgical processing, and metals markets. Other requirements are qualified persons responsible for estimation and reporting, site inspection, and sample chain of custody.
doi:10.3390/min11020200 fatcat:tbkzeei57bbiph64cug7t76fa4