Minerals: Polymetallic Sulphides

Polymetallic Sulphides Evidence of hydrothermal mineral deposits were first noticed in 1948 during the Swedish Albatross oceanographic expedition in the Red Sea. This was followed by discoveries of metalliferous muds and brines in 1963-66 in the Red sea Rift system. These metalliferous muds contained large amounts of copper, zinc, lead, iron, silver and gold. These discoveries led to other similar searches for the same resources in other parts of the world oceans resulting in the discovery of several hydrothermal sites along the East Pacific Rise System, Galapagos Ridge, the Juan de Fuca and Gorda Ridges in the 70’s.

The Galapagos Rift was found to contain inactive mounds containing ore grade metals, some of them up to 35 m high chimneys. Sophisticated instrumentation like submersibles have led to several other discoveries since the Galapagos Rift discovery in 1981.


Polymetallic Sulphides Contractors

Contractor Contract Date Expiration Date Sponsoring State Location
China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association 18 Nov 2011 17 Nov 2026 China Southwest Indian Ridge
Government of the Russian Federation 29 Oct 2012 28 Oct 2027 Russian Federation Mid-Atlantic Ridge
Government of the Republic of Korea 24 Jun 2014 23 Jun 2029 Korea Central Indian Ridge
Institut français de recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer 18 Nov 2014 17 Nov 2029 France Mid-Atlantic Ridge
Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources of the Federal Republic of Germany 06 May 2015 05 May 2030 Germany Central Indian Ocean
The Government of India 26 Sep 2016 25 Sep 2031 India Central Indian Ocean
Government of the Republic of Poland 12 Feb 2018 11 Feb 2033 Government of the Republic of Poland Mid Atlantic Ridge