Italian Shipbuilding firm Fincantieri and oilfield services firm Saipem have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote the development of deep-seabed mining (DSM).
As part of the MoU, the two Italian firms will partner on the sustainable exploitation of deep-sea floors over a depth of 3,000m.
The strategic collaboration is aimed at defining sustainable feasibility, development and business opportunities in the design, engineering, construction and management of DSM systems.
Saipem CEO Stefano Cao said: “The agreement signed with Fincantieri brings together two Italian leaders involved in promoting deep-seabed mining. Saipem boasts innovative technologies, distinctive skills, assets and an outstanding track record in the sector that will be put to use in the joint project with Fincantieri with the aim of finding environmentally compatible solutions so that sea beds can be used sustainably.”
Deep-sea floors, which are rich in minerals such as sulphur, cobalt crusts as well as polymetallic nodules, are essential materials in digital technologies and energy innovation.
According to the companies, there are no proper industrial extraction techniques that can enable mining firms to extend their activities in the deep-sea.
Therefore, Fincantieri and Saipem will first focus on using their expertise to create an industrial plan containing technical and economic feasibility potential of the new DSM-based projects.