‘ROSGEOLOGIYA’ IN THE SEARCH FOR POLYMETALLIC SULFIDE ORES EXPLORES ABOUT 1800 KM2 OF THE ATLANTIC OCEAN
The research vessel 'Professor Logachev', owned by JSC 'Polar Marine Geosurvey Expedition' (‘PMGE’, a subsidiary of JSC 'Rosgeologiya'), arrived in the area of marine operations and began to study the geological structure of the ocean floor area of about 1800 km2 in the axial zone of Mid-Atlantic Ridge in accordance with Russia's obligations under the Contract with the International Seabed Authority (ISA).
The purpose of the expedition is to complete a set of geological and geophysical studies to identify promising ore occurrences of seafloor massive (polymetallic) sulfides (SMS) in the Atlantic Ocean as part of the first 6-year stage of the Contract with International Sea-Bed Authority (ISA), which was concluded by the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation in 2012 for 15 years.
'So far, 82 out of 100 blocks of the Russian exploration area (REA-SMS) have been examined, within which 12 ore objects with estimated resources of 104.8 million tons of copper-zinc and copper-pyrite ore specialization have been identified and studied,' said the managing director of JSC 'PMGE' Dmitry Kaminsky. - '18 blocks explored by the new expedition belong to the southern cluster of the REA, where 3 large ore occurrences were also discovered. Our geologists expect a wide distribution of outcrops of deep rocks of the gabbro-peridotite series, respectively, the total resource potential can be increased'.
In accordance with the Contract, after identifying the priority areas for detailed exploration, as well as performing a full geological analysis of the actual materials for all 100 blocks of the REA-SMS, in September 2020, PMGE geologists will need to justify the choice of 50 blocks most promising for sulfide ore , and reasonably abandon the 50 least promising.
The expedition program includes the most effective types of work for the search and study of SMS, determined by the results of previous studies.
During December 2019, the R / V 'Professor Logachev' will perform geoacoustic profiling (including near bottom side scan sonar and electrical exploration), which will establish zones of tectonic disturbances, propagation of igneous rocks at the bottom and identify anomalies in the natural electric field.
Hydrophysical sounding of the water column will also be conducted to identify abnormal structures of ocean waters associated with hydrothermal activity.
At the end of December, 'Professor Logachev' will call at the port of Bridgetown on Barbados island in the Caribbean Sea, where three ISA specialists will join the expedition for internship and training on a Russian ship, as well as a group of specialists from 'Rosgeologiya' to carry out the geological stage of work. In January, ‘PMGE’ geologists will perform verification work on the identified anomalies, including bottom-line television profiling and geological testing (bottom sampling).