Seabed Mineral Deposits in European Seas: Metallogeny and Geological Potential for Strategic and Critical Raw Materials (MINDeSEA)


The project MINDeSEA results of the collaboration between eight GeoERA Partners and four Non-funded Organizations at various points of common interest for exploration and investigation on seafloor mineral deposits. This project addresses an integrative metallogenetic study of principal types of seabed mineral resources (hydrothermal sulfides, ferromanganese crusts, phosphorites, marine placers and polymetallic nodules) in the European Seas. The MINDeSEA working group has both knowledge of and expertise in such types of mineralisation, providing exploration results, sample repositories and databases to produce innovative contributions. The importance of submarine mineralisation systems is related to the abundance and exploitation-potential of many strategic metals and Critical Raw Materials (CRM), necessary for the modern society development.

The objectives of this project are the following: 1) Characterise deposit types; 2) Characterise the trace element content of the deposit type including CRM; 3) Identify the principal metallogenic provinces; 4) Develop harmonised mineral maps and datasets of seabed deposits incorporating GSO datasets, along with mineral-potential and prospectivity maps; 5) Demonstrate how the cases study results can be used in off-shore mineral exploration; 6) Analyse present-day exploration and exploitation status in terms of regulation, legislation, environmental impacts, exploitation and future directions. 7) Demonstrate efficiency of a pan-European research approach to understanding seabed minerals and modes of exploration. The methodology will include: procedures for submarine minerals exploration; mineral evaluation and seafloor minerals mapping; a web service that will disseminate procedures, maps and information to the general public, downstream users and decision makers.

GIS viewer for MINDeSEA results

Through this viewer the results of the MINDeSEA project will be made accessible when they will be available through the project. The current view is not showing results of the project but is only here to give an idea about and where the results will appear and on which technology (the EGDI)

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Project website

Further details about the project will be available later.

Budget and Participants

The total budget for the project is 783,285€ of which the funded participants contribute 550,649€ and the EC contributes 232,636€. The non-funded participants contribute in addition with 156,250€ as in-kind contribution.

Work packages

WP1. Project Management and Coordination. Lead: IGME-Spain. Contact: Francisco Javier González
WP2. Communication, Dissemination and Exploitation. Lead: IGME-Spain. Contact: Teresa Medialdea
WP3. Seafloor Massive Sulphide Deposits. Lead: NGU. Contact: Henrik Shiellerup
WP4. Ferro-manganese crusts, phosphorites and Critical Raw Materials. Lead: IGME-Spain. Contact: Francisco Javier González
WP5. Marine placer deposits. Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration. Lead: IGME-Greece. Contact: Irene Zananiri
WP6. Polymetallic nodules. Lead: LNEG. Contact: Pedro Ferreira
WP7. Exploration in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Baltic and Black Sea. Lead: IGME-Spain. Contact: Luis Somoza
WP8. Link to Information Platform. Lead: GSI. Contact: Maria Judge

The Participants and their contributions in terms of Man Months are:
Partner (Short name) Partner Name Country/Region Man Months
IGME-SP (coordinator) Instituto Geológico y Minero de España Spain 45,5
BGR Bundesanstalt Für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe Germany 14
GEOINFORM State Research and Development Enterprise State Information Geological of Ukraine Ukraine 2,8
GSI Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment Ireland 13
IGME-GR Institouto Geologikon kai Metalleftikon Erevnon Greece 6
LNEG Laboratorio Nacional de Energia e Geologia I.P. Portugal 9
NGU Geological Survey of Norway Norway 4,5
SGU Sveriges geologiska undersökning Sweden 4
USGS (non-funded) United States Geological Survey United States 7
IPMA(non-funded) Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera Portugal 6,5


Institute for Geology and Mineral Resources of the Ocean Russia 6


Geosciences Institute Spain 5,5