The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of 15 years contract for undertaking exploration and other developmental activities related to Poly-Metallic Sulphides (PMS).
The contract was approved between the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences and the International Seabed Authority (ISA).
The exploration and other developmental activities has been allotted in the area of 10,000 sq km in parts of Central and South – West Indian Ridges (SWIR), located in the Indian Ocean.
Benefits of signing contract
- India’s exclusive rights for exploration of PMS in the allotted Area in the Central Indian Ridge (CIR) and South West Indian Ridge (SWIR) in Indian Ocean will be formalized.
- It will enhance India’s presence in the Indian Ocean where other players like China, South Korea and Germany are active.
This exploration program will be implemented by the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences with the participation from various national institutes and research organisations/ laboratories.
What are Poly-Metallic Sulphides (PMS)?
- PMS are mineral deposit with three or more metals in commercial quantities that may occur in volcanogenic, magmatic or hydrothermal environments.
- Deep seabed PMS mainly contain iron, silver, gold, zinc, copper, platinum in variable constitutions.
- They are formed due to precipitation of hot fluids coming from deep interior of the oceanic crust due to upwelling hot magma discharged through mineralized chimneys.
- Owing to their long term commercial as well as strategic values, PMS found in the Ocean Ridges have attracted worldwide attention.
About International Seabed Authority (ISA)
The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is an intergovernmental body that organizes, regulates and control all mineral (non-living resources) related activities in the international seabed area beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. It functions under the aegis of the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).