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ArticleName Ore preparation in deep-sea mining of cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts
DOI 10.17580/or.2022.02.02
ArticleAuthor Yungmeister D. A., Korolev R. I., Ponomareva I. N., Kruglyakova M. V.

Saint Petersburg Mining University (Saint Petersburg, Russia):

Yungmeister D. A., Professor, Doctor of Engineering Sciences,
Korolev R. I., Postgraduate Student,


JSC «Yuzhmorgeologiya» (Gelendzhik, Russia):
Ponomareva I. N., Deputy Chief Geologist,
Kruglyakova M. V., Director of the Scientific and Analytical Center,


The article covers the specific features of deep-sea mining of ferromanganese nodules (FMN) and cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts (CMC) found in exploration areas. Experimental studies have been carried out to establish the physical and mechanical properties of CMC samples. These implied sample exposure to a bidirectional axial load from spherical balls (indenters) and compilation of resulting rock strength data sheets for subsequent evaluation. The processes of impact- and cut-induced CMC failure have been experimentally studied with identification of the impact load and axial cutting force required for ore preparation when using the combined mining approach. The existing FMN and CMC recovery facilities have been analyzed and the fundamental design principles have been developed for deep-sea mining with ore preparation. The FMN and CMC mining concept presented and described in the article features a walkingtype mining machine equipped with operating members designed for ore preparation. The article considers various CMC mining solutions using clamshell grabs with a built-in impact tool for ore preparation. A combined mining approach is proposed, with ore preparation implemented in the form of controlled penetration into the CMC bed and subsequent intensification of the impact-induced bed separation process without damaging the substrate. Two layout options have been analyzed for the use of the impact tool and the mining sequence, with the impact tool built along the grab axis or into the jaws of the grab. The latter option is deemed more efficient as it enables penetration management in line with the impact impulses and allows capturing chipped CMC pieces when the jaws are being closed.

keywords Cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts, deep-sea mining, operating member, deep-water mining machine, impact tool, clamshell grab

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