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China speeds up Indian Ocean exploration for minerals

Updated: 2014-02-27 15:37

China has said its research vessel surveying polymetallic deposits in the Indian Ocean has discovered two hydrothermal and four hydrothermal anomaly areas as the resource-hungry country stepped up efforts to extract minerals from the seabed.

China's State Oceanic Administration (SOA) hailed achievements by Chinese scientists.

The SOA said that scientists onboard the "Dayang-1" research vessel discovered two seafloor hydrothermal areas and four hydrothermal anomaly areas, and deepened understanding about the overall area. They also gained insight on the origins of carbonate hydrothermal areas, and made successful attempts to explore for sulfide, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the SOA as saying.

Hydrothermal sulfide is a kind of seabed deposit containing copper, zinc and precious metals such as gold and silver.

Firming up its foothold in India's backyard, China has gained approval in 2012 to explore a 10,000 sq km polymetallic sulphide ore deposit in an international seabed region of the southwest Indian Ocean. The 15-year approval was secured by China from the International Seabed Authority (ISA).

China's booming economy has forced it to look for minerals abroad. China also has obtained exclusive rights to prospect in a 75,000-square-km polymetallic nodule ore deposit in the east Pacific Ocean in 2001.


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