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Should Manganese nodules be exploited as a source of metals?

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Should Manganese nodules be exploited as a source of metals? Manganese nodules are a dark lump of mineral found on the ocean floor, some floors can be packed with them. These nodules are composed of oxides or iron and manganese but also contain smaller amounts of more valuable metals such as copper and nickel. Manganese nodules can vary greatly in size, averaging about 2inches (4cm) in diameter. Manganese nodules are found in large quantities in the seabeds of oceans proximate to the regions of Russia, Brazil, Australia, Cook Islands, South Africa, Gabon, India and the Solomon Islands. The composition of a manganese nodule can vary, a typical sample might contain by weight 24%manganese, 14% iron, 0.99% nickel, 0.53% copper, 0.35% cobalt, 0.1%lead. The minerals precipitate out of the ocean water and form in layers around a nucleus. It is believed that a nodule grows 1cm every millionth year. Manganese nodules are a potential source of minerals to the world. ...read more.


The ship would drag this collector, which wasn't very reliable as inaccuracies in the extraction occurred. Once again, another form of extracting manganese nodules was created, which is the one we use today. In the form we use today a collector is a self-propelled mining machine, which allows a much more accurate extraction. It is connected to a 600m flexible hose, which allows it to move freely. By mining manganese nodules, a variety of more products are created, which at the same time creates new companies, giving more employment to people. So the people benefiting from these companies would agree to mining manganese nodules. The people profiting from the nodules would also agree to collect them, as more money is made. Developing countries would benefit by instead of mining taking place on their land it would take place in the sea so land wouldn't be damaged, especially rainforests, etc. Rich countries such as Japan and USA also benefit from harvesting manganese. ...read more.


Developing countries would disagree to the amount of money spent on manganese nodule mining, and would much rather prefer to have it used in ways to develop their countries. Manganese mining could also affect poorer countries near "manganese sites" by destroying their land to make new factories for dumping of tailings. In my opinion, I think that manganese nodules can be quite a useful source to modern society. If is mined properly, and the tailings are correctly taken care of it doesn't harm the environment that much and saves us from mining in other places on land. It has also contributed to us in a variety of ways, new technology, new medicines, new forms of metal etc. I think that as long as too much money isn't spent on the mining, when it could be being spent on developing countries, then I think that manganese nodule mining should continue as we are benefiting from it in all sorts of ways which I have mentioned above. Amanda Henriques Yr11JT ...read more.

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