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Precious Metals in Indian Ocean: Chinese Submarine Jiaolong Explores

Ambitious China does not wish to lag behind in the domain of ocean exploration for its resources. Its submarine going by the name of Jiaolong has performed its first deep dive, on Friday 2nd of 2015, into the Indian Ocean in a restricted zone to search for hydrothermal vents and precious metals.

A Chinese submarine named Jiaolong is currently exploring the waters of the Indian Ocean. The project kicked off on Friday, 2nd of January, marking the first deep dive of the vehicle in the Indian Ocean. The goal is to harvest samples of hydrothermal fluids together with sulphur. The researchers are also in search of precious metals like gold, silver, together with copper and zinc. The team leader, Tao Chunhui, commented on their research to the Times of India.

Scientist Tao Chunhui revealed that they are primarily on the look-out for hydrothermal activities as well as  polymetallic sulphur. They also wish to find out whether there are gold, silver, copper and zinc deposits.

They are meant to carry out their searches with the submarine Jiaolong. The exploration is expected to last for 120 days. Samples of rock, sediment, and water will be taken from precise locations, in the 10 000 km2 zone assigned to the country. This exploration area licensed to it was agreed upon by the International Seabed Authority and China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association.

Jiaolong has participated in other exploration programs. It had previously been used for a 52-day project in the Pacific Ocean last year. It had collected more than a hundred biological samples, together with around 1200 liters of seawater.


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