India is one of the pioneer investors in the field of polymetallic nodule mining. Extensive exploration and mapping has been done to precisely quantify the nodule deposits in the allocated mine site, and further detailed exploration is being done to delineate the potential areas for profitable mining. The material left behind on the sea floor, in the process of exploration as well as other artifacts: could pose a problem during commercial mining. The probable hazardous waste strewn areas should be either avoided or the miner vehicle should incorporate a feature to effectively overcome these hazards. The design of a suitable mining collector and the various options available are discussed. The path of the miner vehicle needs to be planned in such a way as to avoid the adverse slopes and hazardous wastes and to effectively mine the high density areas. The effective mining strategy to enhance the production from an area scattered with waste is outlined. Some of the consequent problems are discussed. The need for preparing an obstacle map showing the artifacts and mineable area is stressed with a model map. Methods to reassess and redeem the hazardous areas are suggested. A novel idea of acoustically controlled free diving miner vehicle homing on to the riser and buffer combination is put forward.


Vast amounts of Polymetallic nodule resources have been surveyed by various countries throughout the world. India had carried out extensive exploration and research in the Central Indian Basin (CIB) and has been awarded the exclusive mining rights for an area of 0.15 mil.sq.km (Anon, 1987). During the various stages of exploration equipments like Pressaug free fail grab (FFG), Vanveen grab, box corer, Spade corer, dredges etc., have been used for spot sampling and bulk sampling (Mudholkar et al, 1988).

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