The Review of Development of Ocean Polymetallic Nodule Collecting Technique in China
DING Liu-huai, GAO Yu-qing, WANG Ming-he (Changsha Institute of Mining Research, Changsha, Hunan 410012, China)
In China, the research on the collecting technique for mining ocean polymetallic nodules, starting in 1990s, is one of major study subjects of the ocean polymetallic nodule exploration project. During the eighth five-year plan, based on theoretical studies, two model collectors were developed, of which the various technical indices had reached design requirements, and a complex laboratory for deep-sea mining had been constructed which covered a floor space of 4000 square meters. During the ninth five-year plan, the scale-up laboratory study was carried out, a pilot collector was developed, a complex experiment of the collector in the underwater at 150 m from the lake surface was conducted, with satisfactory results. This paper reviews the development of nodule collecting technique in deep-sea mining, and summarizes many key techniques resolved through tackling key problems in China during past ten years.