Next Article in Journal
Mesozoic High- and Low-SiO2 Adakites and A-Type Granites in the Lower Yangtze River Belt, Eastern China: Implications for Petrogenesis and Metallogeny
Previous Article in Journal
Hydrotalcite and Hydrocalumite in Mortar Binders from the Medieval Castle of Portilla (Álava, North Spain): Accurate Mineralogical Control to Achieve More Reliable Chronological Ages
Previous Article in Special Issue
Sulfide Breccias from the Semenov-3 Hydrothermal Field, Mid-Atlantic Ridge: Authigenic Mineral Formation and Trace Element Pattern
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Minerals 2018, 8(8), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8080327

Assessment of the Mineral Resource Potential of Atlantic Ferromanganese Crusts Based on Their Growth History, Microstructure, and Texture

1
National Oceanography Centre Southampton, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK
2
Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
3
British Geological Survey, Environmental Science Centre, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG, UK
4
University of Southampton, National Oceanography Centre Southampton, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 July 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 27 July 2018 / Published: 30 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deep-Sea Minerals and Gas Hydrates)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4412 KB, uploaded 10 August 2018]   |  

Abstract

The decarbonisation of our energy supply is reliant on new technologies that are raw material intensive and will require a significant increase in the production of metals to sustain them. Ferromanganese (FeMn) crusts are seafloor precipitates, enriched in metals such as cobalt and tellurium, both of which have a predicted future demand above current production rates. In this study, we investigate the texture and composition of FeMn crusts on Tropic Seamount, a typical Atlantic guyot off the coast of western Africa, as a basis for assessing the future mineral resource potential of Atlantic Seamounts. The majority of the summit is flat and covered by FeMn crusts with average thicknesses of 3–4 cm. The crusts are characterized by two dominant textures consisting of either massive pillared growth or more chaotic, cuspate sections of FeMn oxides, with an increased proportion of detrital and organic material. The Fe, Mn, and Co contents in the FeMn oxide layers are not affected by texture. However, detrital material and bioclasts can form about 50% of cuspate areas, and the dilution effect of this entrained material considerably reduces the Fe, Mn, and Co concentrations if the bulk samples are analyzed. Whilst Tropic Seamount meets many of the prerequisites for a crust mining area, the thickness of the crusts and their average metal composition means extraction is unlikely to be viable in the near future. The ability to exploit more difficult terrains or multiple, closely spaced edifices would make economic feasibility more likely. View Full-Text
Keywords: ferromanganese; crusts; Atlantic; seamount; seafloor mining; cobalt ferromanganese; crusts; Atlantic; seamount; seafloor mining; cobalt
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Yeo, I.A.; Dobson, K.; Josso, P.; Pearce, R.B.; Howarth, S.A.; Lusty, P.A.J.; Le Bas, T.P.; Murton, B.J. Assessment of the Mineral Resource Potential of Atlantic Ferromanganese Crusts Based on Their Growth History, Microstructure, and Texture. Minerals 2018, 8, 327.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Minerals EISSN 2075-163X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top