Sea Technology

AUG 2017

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14 st / August 2017 www.sea-technology.com Acknowledgments We want to thank the Norwegian Research Council for funding the project under Grant Number 247626/O30 and the MarMine industrial partners for co-funding the project. The project is also grateful to the competent ROV crew from Reach Subsea and the crew of the vessel Polar King. The au- thors would also like to thank Rolf Birger Pedersen from the University of Bergen for sharing information from the Loki Castle and Mohn's Treasure for the MarMine project. The authors also thank Kurt Aasly and Steinar L. Ellefmo from NTNU; Max Schlereth, Art Wright and Michael Zylstra from Williamson & Associates Inc.; and Marshall Pardey from QD Tech Inc. for contributions to this article. References For a list of references, contact Fredrik Søreide at fredrik. soreide@ntnu.no. ST Dr. Fredrik Søreide is a professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. His focus is on advanced marine research, particularly deep and ultradeepwater geology, biology and archaeology. He has been involved in vari- ous deep-sea mineral projects since the late 1990s. Dr. Martin Ludvigsen is a professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. His research focus is on applications of underwater robotics, cam- eras and acoustic instruments. Ludvigsen is also the director of the Applied Un- derwater Laboratory at the university. He has previously held various positions in the oil and gas industry. Mike Williamson is a marine geophysicist and CEO of Williamson & Associates Inc. He was among the small group of individuals that pioneered deep-sea min- ing of ferromanganese nodules in the 1970s and has remained involved with advancing science and technology in deep-ocean environs. With a wider range of coring tools, the system should be able to sample the full range of seabed materials, from very soft to competent rock. The ROCS drill can also be used for crust sampling. By adjusting the drill bit and core barrel, the system will en- able high-rpm cutting and low bit pressure. The crusts are friable and only loosely cemented to the underlying rock. The crusts break up easily with conventional drilling, so the ROCS makes a thin cut with minimal vibration in order to recover intact samples of rock and associated crusts. The recovered samples are valuable for chemical analy- ses of mineral grades, mineralogy and rock mechanical test- ing. The system is useful for initial exploration for marine minerals at low cost, low operational complexity and low risk, although proper resource estimates will require drill- ing deeper into the deposit than the 1-m-deep core samples provided by the ROCS. The system can be modified to take up to 3-m samples. As such, samples from the ROCS pro- vide valuable information about the deposit itself and for planning more extensive drilling campaigns for more exten- sive resource estimation. OCEANS 17 ANCHORAGE "The ROCS design features a low torque (235 N-m max), low drilling force (100 kgf max) and high rpm to obtain samples of 75 mm in diameter by 1 m in length."

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