Photo feature: the USGS’s ocean mining research

By Yoana Cholteeva

The mining industry has seen an increasing interest in the mineral potential of oceans with rock formations on the seafloor, including ferromanganese crusts, manganese nodules, marine phosphorites, and seafloor massive sulphides, among others.

Since the 1970s, the US Geological Survey (USGS) has been investigating marine mineral potential,  focused on the US’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which extends 200 miles from the country’s shoreline and allows control over the exploration and exploitation of marine resources in the area.

While the USGS’s main focus has changed over the years, in 2018, President Trump’s Federal Strategy on Critical Minerals issued a list of 35 mineral commoditiesdeemed critical to the economy and security of the country.

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