China wants to co-operate with India on deep seabed mining

With quickening oceanic development and increasing mineral exploration in the Indian Ocean, China is eager to co-operate with India on deep seabed mining, according to the China Ocean Mineral Resource R&D Association.

China seeks co-operation with India for sea mining

"China and India are both developing countries and contractors with the International Seabed Authority, so we have a lot in common and plenty of opportunities for further co-operation," said He Zongyu, deputy director of the association.

The association is China's official organisation engaged in exploration and development of ocean floor and subsoil.

Chen Lianzeng, deputy director of the State Oceanic Administration, visited India on April 20, and suggested the two countries enhance co-operation on oceanic research and development.

"If we co-operate, we could share the costs, the risks and the benefits," He said.

China and India are on about the same level in terms of the development of deep seabed mining, which makes India an ideal partner, He said.

Deep seabed mining is high-cost and high-risk work, with costs for a mining site topping 10 billion yuan (S$2.1 billion), He said.

In 2011, China signed a contract with the ISA for a polymetallic sulfides exploration area of 10,000 square kilometers in the southwest Indian Ocean.

China also signed two contracts for exploration areas in the Pacific Ocean, but the rich findings in the Indian Ocean make this area a focus for China's future work.

China's deep-sea manned submersible Jiaolong finished a 118-day expedition in the Indian Ocean in March and discovered several new hydrothermal vents´╝Źdeep-sea fissures that emit hot water. Its findings could help research into resources and environments of seafloor sulfide deposits that contain various metals.

During the vessel's latest mission, research vessel Dayang Yihao was also on a mission in the area. It was the first time China had its two major oceanic research facilities working in the Indian Ocean at the same time.