HomeTop StoriesAngloGold Ashanti and De Beers form marine mining joint venture

AngloGold Ashanti and De Beers form marine mining joint venture

The world’s third largest gold group, AngloGold Ashanti, has entered into a joint venture with the world’s largest producer of rough diamonds, De Beers, to explore and mine gold and other precious metals and minerals from the seafloor.
Through their marine diamond exploration and mining activities, De Beers have developed certain skills, expertise and proprietary technology in relation to the exploration and mining of marine deposits on the continental shelf.  During their search for diamonds, De Beers found potentially interesting targets and approached AngloGold to form a partnership. De Beers will provide data and equipment for the joint venture, and AngloGold Ashanti will be funding the venture to the tune of US$40 million.
The joint venture will focus on marine deposits located in, or adjacent to, the area between the high water mark and the edge of the continental shelf on a worldwide basis, and will be establishing a technical services company (Techco), which will be developed into a marine exploration and mining services company.

The extraction of undersea mineral resources is widely regarded as the next frontier for mining, as land-based resources become scarcer and more costly and time-consuming to extract. This exciting new field will be highlighted during the Underwater Mining Forum at the Mine-Tech International Conference and Expo, to be held from 2-4 November at Gallagher Estate, Midrand.  

Led by Marine and Mineral Projects, an innovative engineering firm renowned for its technological advances in unlocking underwater resources, this separately bookable workshop will investigate the viability of underwater mining. The workshop leaders will give a considered assessment of the current state of play, technologies and capabilities, as well as future developments in this exciting and thus far relatively unexplored field.

Gold, copper, zinc, lead, silver, barium, nickel and cobalt are just some of the metals whose ores deep within the ocean are becoming economically ripe for exploitation. These metals are found in SMS (sea-floor massive sulphide) deposits, and it is forecast that economically viable extraction of sulphides from the deep sea floor may begin within the next few years, and become established within the next decade.

To find out more about the Underwater Mining Forum, visit the Mine-Tech website: www.minetechexpo.com, or contact Piera Abbott: piera.abbott@miningreview.com