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Lowlanders join forces in deep-sea mining venture

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

SLIEDRECHT - IHC Merwede, a Dutch builder of highly specialized ships and equipment for dredging and mining activities, and DEME, a Belgian dredging and environmental services group, have entered into a joint venture for deep-sea mining activities. Under their cooperative agreement, IHC Merwede will be responsible for the development and construction of technical solutions, while DEME will be responsible for operations. Together the companies will offer a unique pioneering total solution. The joint venture will be known as OceanflORE. Their initial venture will focus on mining phosphor off the coast of New Zealand. The firms rate interest in this field high, especially since the demand for raw materials is expected to double during the coming decades. It is felt that existing sources on land will not be adequate to meet this demand. The companies say that the field of deep-sea mining techniques is increasing and developing rapidly and the technical feasibility becoming more evident. They are confident that these trends have led to a growing interest in the possibilities offered by deep-sea mining throughout the world. As well they point out, capital markets are more often willing to finance projects due to the increased certainties in deep-sea mining.