As part of the contract with joint organization Interoceanmetal (IOM), the research vessel Gelendzhik of Yuzhmorgeologia JSC (a subsidiary of Rosgeo) conducted the scheduled marine voyage on exploring iron-manganese nodules of the huge Clarion Clipperton ore zone in the Pacific North East basin, in 2019. IOM has been operating in the international seabed area under Contract for polymetallic nodules exploration with the International Seabed Authority.

During this voyage the Gelendzhik research vessel conducted comprehensive marine geological, environmental and oceanographic surveys within the IOM licensed site. During this voyage the Gelendzhik research vessel conducted comprehensive marine geological, environmental and oceanographic surveys within the IOM licensed site. It included the geo-acoustic profiling, photo-tele-profiling, sediment ore sampling, hydraulic sounding of water layers (see also

The geological explorations were conducted to confirm the resource potential of iron-manganese nodules, to identify local conditions at the exploration blocks, as well as to investigate the submarine topography and morphology on revealing potential obstacles for the future development. The samples obtained will be analyzed in ground-based laboratories. Based on the results it would be possible to update information on the geological conditions, to assess resources and environmental conditions of the exploration blocks.


The international seabed area is situated beyond the exclusive economic zones of coastal States and covers about half of the Earth's surface. The seabed mineral deposits with the strategic importance metal content were found in these territories. The resources of these deposits are commensurate with resources of many land-based metals and, for some metals (cobalt, nickel, manganese), exceed by far. The geological prospecting operations are regulated here by the International Seabed Authority established in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

In 1987, a unique iron-manganese nodule deposit, the resources of which were evaluated at several billion tons, was discovered after the large scale comprehensive geological and geophysical research in the area of about 2 mln sq. km of the Clarion Clipperton ore region in the Pacific Ocean (depths from 4500 to 6000 m). In 1987, the Intergovernmental Agreement on the establishment of joint organization InterOceanMetal (IOM) was signed for prospecting, exploring and preparing the iron-manganese nodules for industrial development. Bulgaria, Cuba, Poland, Russia, Czechia and Slovakia are currently the parties to this Agreement. The IOM Headquarter is in Szczecin, Poland.

In 2001, IOM signed the fifteen-year contract with the International Seabed Authority on the exploration of polymetallic nodules localized within the Pacific seabed area in the eastern part of the huge Clarion Clipperton ore zone. In 2016, the contract was extended for further five years, till 2021.

Yuzhmorgeologia JSC begins its history from 1963. It is an integrated multifunctional scientific organization in the field of Earth sciences. It addresses the issues concerned with study of geological structure and mineral resources in the shelf areas of the Russian Federation and world's seabed, creation of science-based technologies and facilities for geological explorations at sea depths of up to 6000 m and in the land-sea transit zones, etc.