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S. Korea secures manganese crust in Pacific Ocean

All News 11:15 July 20, 2016

SEJONG, July 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has secured a combined 40 million tons of manganese crust in the western region of the Pacific Ocean as part of efforts to seek deep sea mineral resources in international waters, the maritime ministry here said Wednesday.

The manganese nodules are located on the sea bed at a depth of 800 meters to 2,500 meters. They are rich in minerals such as iron, copper and manganese hydroxides.

The International Seabed Authority (ISA) has approved South Korea's management of 3,000 ㎢ of manganese crust with nine sea mountains and 13 clusters in the Western Pacific, according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.

It is the fifth sea-mining area that the country has secured on the high sea, following areas in the Indian Ocean and other parts of the Pacific Ocean.

The manganese concretion has some 40 million tons of mineral reserves that are expected to help South Korea replace 6 trillion won worth of imported minerals for 20 years.

The ministry said it will conclude the deal with the ISA in 2018 on cooperation in investigating the seabed and begin full commercial production some 10 years after the contract.

"The government puts policy priority on securing deep sea mineral reserves, considering the fact that South Korea highly depends on imported natural resources," the maritime ministry said. "We will also make constant efforts to join the global campaign to attain sustainable development goals."

brk@yna.co.kr
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