New Delhi : Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that Government has approved Deep Ocean Mission (DOM) to be implemented by Ministry of Earth Sciences at a total budget of Rs. 4077 Cr for 5 years during the period 2021-2026. In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today, he said, even private institutions will be included for development of technologies for this mission to explore the possibilities of mining, bio-diversity, energy, fresh water etc. in deep ocean and to support the ‘blue economy’.
Ministry of Earth Sciences through contractual agreements with the International Seabed Authority (ISA), is carrying out exploration activities for Poly-metallic Nodules (PMN) in the Central Indian Ocean Basin and for Poly-metallic Sulphides (PMS) in parts of Central and South-West Indian ridges.
Preliminary estimates indicate 380 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT) of Polymetallic Nodules comprising Copper, Nickel, Cobalt and Manganese are available within an allocated area of 75000 sq. km for exploration of PMN in Central Indian Ocean Basin. The estimated value of these metals is about 110 billion US$. The polymetallic sulphides are expected to contain rare earth minerals including gold and silver.
The United States of America, France, Japan, Russia and China are the major countries to have similar technologies.