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Scientists from India’s National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), based in Goa, are set for a month-long odyssey aboard the research vessel Argeo Searcher. This May marks their third voyage into the Indian Ocean as part of the government’s ambitious Deep Ocean Mission.

The mission has a captivating objective: to locate and explore hidden reserves of critical mineral deposits. These valuable resources are believed to be concentrated in polymetallic sulphide deposits, found near hydrothermal vents in the ocean depths.

The team will focus their efforts on 15 specific sites, meticulously chosen based on scientific predictions. These sites lie at a staggering depth of nearly 5,000 meters, highlighting the demanding nature of this underwater treasure hunt.

The polymetallic sulphide deposits hold riches in the form of critical minerals like copper, zinc, manganese, and nickel. These elements are essential for various modern technologies, and their discovery could significantly boost India’s resource security.

The Deep Ocean Mission represents a significant stride towards India’s goal of self-sufficiency in critical minerals. By harnessing these deep-sea resources, the nation can potentially reduce its dependence on foreign imports and strengthen its position in the global market.

Beyond the economic benefits, the mission holds immense scientific value. It offers an opportunity to delve deeper into the unexplored realm of the deep ocean, fostering a greater understanding of its unique ecosystems and geological formations.