The French program of exploration and exploitation of polymetallic nodules

by Ph. Saget and the "Nodules" project team

This document is a summary of work of the exploration and exploitation of polymetallic nodules made over the last 25 years in France.


This synthesis presented in the form of 19 posters, accompanied by a detailed narrative, is divided into 5 parts:

  • Posters 1 and 2 are the introduction to the subject.
  • Posters 3 to 10 concern the exploration techniques. It shows the nautical platforms and various devices such as ED1, corers, the multibeam echosounder, the RAIE and Epaular, the SAR and profiles obtained from the latter, and the Nautile.
  • On posters 11 to 13, the methodology is explained showing the stages of exploration, geology and mathematical simulation assessment deposits.
  • The exploitation of nodules is the subject of posters 14 to 16 which exposes the principle of the collected site, details of collection and treatment of nodules.
  • The last group of posters, from 17 to 19, combines the principles of feasibility where environmental issues, economics and law of the sea are exposed.