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).

Open map in a new tab

Project website

Further details about the project can be found here.

You can also follow the project on twitter.


D1.1 – Pan-European Map of Submarine “Energy-Critical Elements”
D2.1 – Dissemination and Exploitation Plan
D2.2 – Dissemination Products: Newsletters (Issue 3)
D2.3 – Workshop Report (Seafloor Mineral Deposits for the Global Sustainable Development)
D2.3.2 – Workshop Report
D2.3.4 – Workshop Report
D2.3.5 – Workshop Report
D2.4 – Dissemination Products
D3.2 – Database and maps on seafloor hydrothermal mineralisation
D3.3 – Metallogeny of hydrothermal deposits in European waters
D3.3 – Metallogenic map of hydrothermal mineralisation
D3.4 – Hydrothermal-prospectivity
D4.2 – Database and maps on ferromanganese crusts and phosphorites
D4.3 – Predicitivity map of Fe-Mn crusts and phosphorites
D4.3 – Potential map of Fe-Mn crusts and phosphorites
D4.4 – Metallogenic Map of Ferromanganese Crust and Phosphorite Occurrences in pan-European Seas
D4.4 – Models of formation for the main provinces of ferromanganese crusts and phosphorites
D4.5 – Fe-Mn crusts and phosphorites exploration potential
D4.6 – Status of regulation, legislation and exploitation
D4.7 – Results of the case study
D5.2 – Database and maps on marine placers
D5.3 – Mineral-potential and prospectivity map of placers
D5.4 – Placer Deposits Models of formation
D5.5 – PlacerDeposits PresentDayStatus
D6.2 – Report of the polymetallic nodules prospect evaluation parameters that will be employed as a road map for the creation of the polymetallic nodules occurrence database
D6.3 – Database and maps on polymetallic nodules
D6.4 – Mineral potential and prospectivity map of polymetallic nodules
D6.4 – Metallogenic map of polymetallic nodules
D6.5 – Polymetallic nodules potentiality and predictivity
D7.2 – Database and maps on exploration in pan-European seas
D7.3 – Exploration cruised carried out and mineral potential and prospectivity areas in pan-European Seas
D7.3 – WP7-zone A
D7.3 – WP7-zone B
D7.3 – WP7-zone C
D7.4 – Present day status of exploration for seabed minerals

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
WP1Project Management and Coordination. Lead: IGME-Spain. Contact: Francisco Javier González
WP2Communication, Dissemination and Exploitation. Lead: IGME-Spain. Contact: Teresa Medialdea
WP3Seafloor Massive Sulphide Deposits. Lead: NGU. Contact: Henrik Shiellerup
WP4Ferro-manganese crusts, phosphorites and Critical Raw Materials. Lead: IGME-Spain. Contact: Francisco Javier González
WP5Marine placer deposits. Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration. Lead: IGME-Greece. Contact: Irene Zananiri
WP6Polymetallic nodules. Lead: LNEG. Contact: Pedro Ferreira
WP7Exploration in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Baltic and Black Sea. Lead: IGME-Spain. Contact: Luis Somoza
WP8Link to Information Platform. Lead: GSI. Contact: Xavier Monteys
The Participants and their contributions in terms of Man Months
Partner (Short name)Partner NameCountry/RegionMan Months
IGME-SP (coordinator)Instituto Geológico y Minero de EspañaSpain45.5
BGRBundesanstalt Für Geowissenschaften und RohstoffeGermany14
GEOINFORMState Research and Development Enterprise State Information Geological of UkraineUkraine2.8
GSIDepartment of Communications, Climate Action & EnvironmentIreland13
IGME-GRInstitouto Geologikon kai Metalleftikon ErevnonGreece6
LNEGLaboratorio Nacional de Energia e Geologia I.P.Portugal9
NGUGeological Survey of NorwayNorway4.5
SGUSveriges geologiska undersökningSweden4
USGS (non-funded)United States Geological SurveyUnited States7
IPMA (non-funded)Instituto Português do Mar e da AtmosferaPortugal6.5
VNIIOKEANGEOLOGIA (non-funded)Institute for Geology and Mineral Resources of the OceanRussia6
IGEO (UCM-CSIC) (non-funded)Geosciences InstituteSpain5.5