The Professor Logachev research vessel owned by Polar Marine Geosurvey Expedition JSC (PMGE, a Rosgeo subsidiary) has arrived at the marine exploration area and started exploration of the ocean bed geological structure within an area of about 1800 km2 in the axial zone of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, according to the Russia's obligations under the Contract with the International Seabed Authority (ISA).

The expedition's objective is to complete geological and geophysical explorations to identify promising ore occurrences of deep sea polymetallic sulfides (DPS) in the Atlantic Ocean, as part of the first 6-year stage of the contract made by the Ministry of Natural Resources with the International Seabed Authority in 2012 for 15 years.

Under the Contract, in September 2020, after the perspective regions for detailed exploration have been identified, and the comprehensive geological analysis of actual materials from all the 100 blocks in DRS REA has been completed, the PMGE geologists shall justify the selection of 50 blocks as the more prospective ones for sulfide ore, and the abandonment of the 50 least perspective ones.

"To date, 82 of 100 blocks of the Russian Exploration Area (DPS REA) have been already explored, where 12 ore sites with potential resources of 104.8 million tons of copper zinc and copper-pyrite specialization ores have been found and studied," – Dmitry Kaminsky, Managing Director of PMGE. "The eighteen blocks currently examined by the new expedition are referred to the REA south cluster, where three ore occurrences have been also identified. According to the geologists' forecast, there will be a wide-spread occurrence of deep-seated gabbro-peridotite rock exposures here. Therefore, the total resource potential can be increased."


Background:

The expedition program includes the most efficient operations related to deep-sea polymetallic sulfide exploration and study on the basis of the previous surveys.

In December 2019, the Professor Logachev research vessel will perform the geo-acoustic profiling (including the near-bottom side-scan sonar and electrical survey), which makes it possible to define fault zones and occurrence of magmatic rocks beneath the ocean, and to reveal anomalies of natural electric field. It is also planned to perform the hydrophysical exploration of the water layer to reveal abnormal ocean water structures due to the hydrothermal activity.

In late December, the Professor Logachev vessel will put into the Bridgetown port on the Barbados island in the Caribbean Sea, where three ISA experts will join the expedition for probation and training on the Russian vessel, and a group of Rosgeo's experts – for geological surveys.

In January, geologists PMGE will complete all the checks and tests within the revealed anomalies, which include the near-bottom TV profiling and geological sampling (seabed sampling).