Metallogeny and Geological Potential for Strategic and Critical Raw Materials

The project MINDeSEA resulted from the collaboration between eight GeoERA Partners and four Non-funded Organizations at various points of common interest for exploration and investigation on seafloor mineral deposits. The project addressed an integrative metallogenetic study of principal types of seabed mineral resources (hydrothermal sulfides, ferromanganese crusts, phosphorites, marine placers and polymetallic nodules) in the European Seas. The MINDeSEA working group had both knowledge of and expertise in such types of mineralisation, providing exploration results, sample repositories and databases to produce innovative contributions. The importance of submarine mineralisation systems is related to the abundance and exploitation-potential of many strategic metals and Critical Raw Materials (CRM), necessary for the modern society development.

The objectives of the project were the following: 1) Characterise deposit types; 2) Characterise the trace element content of the deposit type including CRM; 3) Identify the principal metallogenic provinces; 4) Develop harmonised mineral maps and datasets of seabed deposits incorporating GSO datasets, along with mineral-potential and prospectivity maps; 5) Demonstrate how the cases study results can be used in off-shore mineral exploration; 6) Analyse present-day exploration and exploitation status in terms of regulation, legislation, environmental impacts, exploitation and future directions. 7) Demonstrate efficiency of a pan-European research approach to understanding seabed minerals and modes of exploration. The methodology included: procedures for submarine minerals exploration; mineral evaluation and seafloor minerals mapping; a web service that disseminated procedures, maps and information to the general public, downstream users and decision makers.

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Project facts:

Project duration: 1 July 2018 – 31 October 2021.
Project Lead: Francisco Javier González Sanz, IGME.
Project page on GeoERA website:

GIS viewer for MINDeSEA results

Through the viewer below the results of the MINDeSEA project are accessible.

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