Published March 24, 2015

Edited and Published by Kira Mizell, Samantha Smith, and James Hein

     Spring 2015


A message from the President

As this newsletter is the first for this year, I would like to start by wishing you all a happy, healthy, and productive 2015. I want to thank all of you who attended the Underwater Mining Conference (UMC, formerly UMI) in Lisbon, Portugal last September.  It was a wonderful conference that consisted of excellent talks and posters; field excursions to south and central Portugal and the second Industry Strategic Planning Meeting held in the Algarve (the first was hosted in Brazil as part of UMI 2013 by Greg Stemm and the team at Odyssey Marine

Exploration). We greatly appreciate the work of Dr. Fernando Barriga, his University of Lisbon/EMEPC colleagues, and our host country sponsors for their months of preparation to make the 43rd UMI the success it was. We are also grateful to our sponsors (Technip, Odyssey Marine Exploration, IHC Mining, ISA, KIOST, JOGMEC, RSC Mining, G. Cherkashov, J. Hein, and the University of Hawaii). If you are an IMMS member and wish to receive a copy of the abstract volume, please login to or contact Karynne Morgan ( for assistance.  This year’s 44th UMC will be hosted by Odyssey Marine Exploration in Tampa, Florida (USA) in November.  I look forward to seeing many of you there.  

    As a reminder, if you attend a UMC, your IMMS membership is covered for the following year.  If you were unable to attend the UMC last September, to continue your membership, please go to to register.  The annual membership fee is $60 ($20 for students).

    As most or all of you know already, last year IMMS withdrew from its trial membership as a division of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME).  What this means is that we must raise the funds necessary for the successful operation of IMMS and the annual UMC.  The UMC has been held annually with only two exceptions since 1971.  It is by far the oldest conference dedicated to marine minerals.  It is focused on bringing together industry, academic, and government professionals with interests in this topic to explore technical, legal, and political means to advance the prudent, environmentally responsible development of marine minerals.  Your support is necessary to keep the conference viable and healthy. 

    We are very fortunate to have a group of corporate, agency and individual sponsors that provide valuable support to ensure the viability of both IMMS and the Underwater Mining Conference.  I encourage your company/agency to join the ranks of those listed as sponsors below.  Feel free to contact me, or Karynne, for Sponsorship details.

2015 Sponsors to date


Please enjoy this newsletter and send our IMMS Secretary, Kira Mizell ( any news stories, descriptions of ongoing research, and all other information that you feel would be of interest to our membership. We look forward to hearing from you. 


Dr. Samantha Smith, President of IMMS  

  1. Changes to the Executive Board

  2. o   We welcome the newly elected President-Elect, Robert Goodden, Chairman, Subsea Minerals Ltd.  Mr. Goodden will serve in this post for 2 years before becoming the next President of IMMS in 2017. 

Happenings within the IMMS


Membership Activity

  1. IMMS member, Philomene Verlaan, continues to actively represent and advocate for the IMMS worldwide. She recently gave a set of lectures on marine mining at the University of Hawaii, presented on the IMMS and its Code at a MIDAS Workshop in Brussels, spoke about the IMMS at a networking lunch for the Society of Maritime Industries in London, and in July will be giving two lectures on marine mining and marine minerals at the University of Virginia's Rhodes Academy on Ocean Law and Policy.

  2. Past IMMS President, James Hein, participated in the following important marine minerals and mining activities:

  3. o   Invited instructor, SOPAC-SPC, Deep-Sea Minerals (DSM) Project Training Workshop, Timor Leste, 17-21November 2014

  4. o   Invited keynote speaker at the Congresso Brasileiro de Oceanografia, Itajai, Brazil, 25-29 October 2014

  5. o   Invited speaker at Offshore and Deep Sea Mining Conference, Establishing Economic Feasibility, Developing Regulatory Policy, and Capitalizing on Commercial Opportunities 6-7 November 2-14, London.

  6. IMMS member, Steve Scott, has given several outreach talks to senior alumni at the University of Toronto and the general public at a library in Toronto on "Geological and biological wonders of the deep ocean floor." Slides and videos show the deep ocean floor in general and then focus in on black smokers and Nautilus Minerals’ proposal to mine the Solwara 1 site offshore eastern Papua New Guinea, a site that Australian colleague Ray Binns and Steve Scott discovered in 1996.

  7. IMMS Education and Outreach Steering Subcommittee plans to create two educational exhibits on marine mining for the Canadian Institute of Mining conference's Space and Deep-sea Mining Pavilion in Montreal from May 10-13 ( The exhibits will be approximately 5-10 minutes in length, interactive, and basic enough for 8-13 year old children. If you would like to contribute to the creation of the exhibit or would like more information, please contact Khalhela Zoeller (

  8. IMMS members, Cornel de Ronde and James Hein, were both editors for a special issue in Economic Geology on the metallogenesis and mineralization of intraoceanic arcs: Economic Geology, Volume 109, Number 8, December 2014.

  9. IMMS member, Akira Usui has co-authored a new book on ferromanganese deposits.            Summary by Dr. Usui: This book focuses on a comprehensive summary of our current knowledge of marine ferromanganese oxide deposits (including crusts and nodules) from geological, geochemical, and microbiological perspectives. Until now, we have not had a scientific text book published in Japanese that addresses marine manganese deposits. Optimists these days may expect too much economical value for the so-called "Rare Metals", and we attempted to present realistic scientific data for the deposits so that we would not overestimate or underestimate these precious mineral resources. The co-authors started writing this book after reviewing the literature and summarizing their new data. The book is aimed for undergraduate and graduate university students, scientists and engineers new to the field, and any colleagues working at sea and in the laboratory on marine issues. These deposits should be developed for the common heritage of mankind, as the UNCLOS states, not just for one country or a company, and the authors' common belief is that interdisciplinary scientific knowledge must help for the prudent and profitable development of the deep-sea mineral resources, which is a common theme of IMMS.  We will be very happy if anyone from different fields or beginners would be interested in these curious treasures from the unveiled deep-sea bed.  We welcome any volunteers who would like to translate this book into English or any other languages. Finally, this book is dedicated to late Emeritus professor of the University of Tokyo, Ken TAMAKI, one of my best colleagues, who co-hosted UMI 2007 held at Tokyo, and who strongly supported me in writing this book; he passed away in New York during a Conference, at the time of the Tsunami of 2011. (See full citation at the Publications link below)

Recent Research and Publications

Conferences and Workshops

International Mining Congress and Exhibition of Turkey, 14-17 April, 2015, Antalya, Turkey

Job and Internship Opportunities

  1. SAMS - Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Benthic Biogeochemistry Click HERE for more info.

  1. The Laboratory of Mineralogy in the Institute of Geological Sciences at the University of Berne (Switzerland) - Assistant researcher in the field of atomistic simulations of minerals and mineral-fluid interfaces. Click HERE for more info.

  1. PREVCO Subsea Seeks Mechanical Ocean Engineer Click HERE for more info.

Marine Minerals in the News

  1. NZ Nodule phosphorite nodule mining consent application refused. It is likely that Chatham Rock Phosphate (CRP) will pursue a re-submission of its Marine Consent application. However before it makes a final decision to do so CRP says it intends to continue to work with the Environmental Protection Authority to seek clarity on the interpretation of the EEZ legislation and the EPA’s policies and procedures for managing the consent process. For further information, please visit

  2. Deep Reach Technology, Inc. awarded $0.9M US Department of Defense Project for Research of Ocean Recovery of Rare Earth Elements and other Strategic Minerals.

  3. China Abolishes Rare Earth Export Quotas Read more here.

  4. China to Build World’s First Deep Sea Mining Vessel

  5. New manganese nodule field found in the Atlantic Ocean! Read more here.

  6. KORDI nodule miner, MineRo, receives design patent

  7. Tuvalu sets standards with their Seabed Minerals Act, the second country to do so

  8. Nautilus Minerals commences commissioning of the Auxiliary Cutter

  9. Ms. Alexandrya Herman, Cook Islands Legal Officer in the SBM Authority has been awarded a Study Fellowship from the United Nations. This UN Award is highly prized 9-month study Fellowship under the guidance of the United Nation’s Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) and the University of Queensland, being a high level University, specializing in Ocean Affairs. Alex has chosen to study the international Legal issues relating to Seabed Minerals sector.

  10. International Seabed Authority (ISA) News:

  11. ISA and IFREMER Sign Exploration Contract for Poly metallic Sulphides.

  12. ISA and Ocean Mineral Singapore Pte Ltd. Sign Exploration Contract for Polymetallic Nodules

  13. ISA and MARAWA Research Exploration Ltd. Sign Exploration Contract for Polymetallic Nodules

  14. ISA and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation Sign Exploration Contract for Cobalt-Rich Ferromanganese Crusts

IMMS is Sponsored by

Copyright 2015:  International Marine Minerals Society, 1000 Pope Rd, MSB 303, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 USA

Contact: Karynne Morgan,

  1. To view a list of recent publications on IMMS relevant topics sent to us by fellow IMMS members click HERE.

Upcoming 2015 Conferences

Content Request


submitted to the Chief editor Kira Mizell (

UMC Updates

2nd European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference (ESPC2), 5-6 March 2015, Berlin, Germany

International Polar and Ocean Engineering Conference, 21-26 June 2015, Kona, Hawaii, USA

Marine Mineral Opinions, Editorials, and Blogs

  1. Nautilus CARES Newsletter – Edition 7 Released

  2. Subsea Mining – Could it be the Next Big Thing?

  3. The Reboot of Seafloor Mining

  4. The Unique Challenges of Mining for Diamonds Underwater

  5. New Issue of Global Island News available


  1. 44th UMC 2015

  2. o   Hosted by Odyssey Marine Exploration in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, November 1-6, 2015

  3. o   UMC 2015 Title: Nearshore Underwater Mining:

  4. Critical Commodities for the Future

        o   Focus and Call for Papers

  1. o   Important Dates:

  2.         Presentation Abstract: April 30, 2015

  3.         Conference Registration: August 31, 2015

  4.         Hotel Registration: August 31, 2015

  5. o   For More information, see

St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay, Florida

Goldschmidt 2015, Session 12f on “Marine mineral deposits: New resources for base, precious, and rare metals,” chaired by IMMS Board Members James Hein and Georgy Chekashov, August 16-21, 2015, Prague, CZ

  1. Recap of 43rd UMC in 2014

  2. o   Published compilation of abstracts:

  3. Hein, J.R., Barriga, F.J.A.S., and Morgan, C.L. (Eds.), 2014. Harvesting Seabed Mineral Resources in Harmony with Nature. Abstracts with Program, 43rd Underwater Mining Insitute, 21-28 September 2014, Lisbon, Portugal, 378 pp. For IMMS members that may be interested, send a pdf request to Karynne Morgan (

  4. Future UMC hosts secured

  5. o   2016: Republic of Korea, hosted by KIOST

  6. o   2017: Germany, hosted by the Deep Sea Mining Alliance

  7. o   2018: Norway, hosted by the University of Bergen

Workshop “From Seafloor Hydrothermal Systems to the Sustainable Exploitation of Massive Sulfide Deposits: Myths and Realities of the Deep Sea,” 11-13 May 2015, Centre for Geobiology at the University of Bergen, Norway

Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA) 13th Biennial Meeting, “Mineral Resources in a Sustainable World,” 24-27, August, 2015, Nancy, France,

Several internship opportunities are listed on the InterRidge website.  If you have such opportunities or job openings, please send to Kira Mizell ( for our next newsletter. 



DCNS Group

Deep Reach Technology

DeepSea Mining Alliance

Ecology & Environment, Inc


Ocean Floor Geophysics


Seafloor Investigations

Dr. Georgy Cherkashov (IS*)

Dr. James R. Hein (IS*)

*IS = Individual Sponsor