China's deep-sea heavy-duty mining vehicle reaches record depth in sea trials
Published: Jul 09, 2024 01:00 PM
Photo: Xinhua

Photo: Xinhua

China's deep-sea heavy-duty mining vehicle has completed sea trials at depths exceeding 4,000 meters, the Shanghai municipal government announced on Tuesday. The vehicle's explorations set six records in the field of deep-sea mining in China, with technological performance reaching the leading domestic and advanced international levels.

In the deep-sea experiment, the vehicle, "Kaituo 2" successfully completed five consecutive dives in the seabed polymetallic nodule and cobalt-rich crust mining area, including one dive to a depth of 4,000 meters and four dives to a depth of 2,000 meters.

The mining vehicle reached depths of 1,802.4 meters, 1,929.9 meters, 1,955.8 meters, 2,048.5 meters, and 4,102.8 meters respectively, marking the first time that domestic deep-sea heavy-duty mining vehicle has conducted deep-sea mineral resource trial mining at a depth of 4,000 meters.

The vehicle also demonstrated powerful underwater rock drilling and collection capabilities during its dives. It has efficiently extracted various types of deep-sea minerals, including multi-metal crusts tightly attached to hard rocks and multi-metal nodules buried in soft deep-sea sediments. Over 200 kilograms of multi-metal crusts, multi-metal nodules, and seabed rocks were successfully obtained.

According to the research team from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the vehicle has achieved six breakthroughs in similar research in China. For example, for the first time, it has achieved a water depth breakthrough of over 4,000 meters for deep-sea heavy-duty mining vehicle deployment operations. It pioneered high-mobility technology for complex deep-sea seabed terrain, and it also pioneered deep-sea multi-mineral composite drilling and mining technology, achieving efficient mining and collection of different types of ores such as polymetallic crusts and polymetallic nodules.

The mining vehicle is also equipped with an environmental monitoring system, which comprehensively monitors and evaluates the environmental impact of seabed plume generation and diffusion, underwater operation noise, etc., providing valuable first-hand materials and data for China's deep-sea mineral resource exploration and green environmental protection mining.

Global Times