Connect with us


Agalega: India’s Mining Interest for Underwater Resource



Agalega: India's Mining Interest for Underwater Resource
Image source: Defi Media

The Indian press is in agreement regarding India’s military interests in Agalega. However, a recent development has shed light on India’s request to the International Seabed Authority (ISA), a UN-affiliated organization, for two new exploration licenses in the deep waters of the Indian Ocean.

The requests were made on January 18th and are currently under review.

An article published by the BBC on March 21st reveals that countries like China, Russia, and India are vying for access to immense mineral resources such as cobalt, nickel, copper, and manganese, found thousands of meters below the ocean’s surface.

These resources are essential for producing renewable energies like solar and wind power, electric vehicles, and battery technology vital for combating climate change.

The ISA has issued 31 exploration permits, with 30 currently active.

Member countries are gathering in Jamaica this week to discuss regulations surrounding the granting of mining licenses.

One of India’s requests aims to explore polymetallic sulfides – mound-like formations near hydrothermal vents containing copper, zinc, gold, and silver – in the Carlsberg Ridge, located in the central Indian Ocean.

The Carlsberg Ridge extends from a triple junction approximately 1,000 km from Rodrigues – known as the Rodrigues Triple Junction – to the Owen Fracture Zone.

Situated at depths ranging from 1,800 to 3,600 meters, the Carlsberg Ridge was discovered by the Danish research vessel, Dana, during the Carlsberg Foundation’s oceanographic expedition from 1928 to 1930.

The area for which India has applied covers an expanse of 10,000 km2. The Prime Minister’s Office clarifies that Mauritius has not requested to include any part of the Carlsberg Ridge in its Exclusive Economic Zone.

It also notes that several countries, including the UK, Germany, and Canada, are calling for a halt or temporary suspension of deep-sea mining activities to better understand their impact on marine ecosystems at such depths.

Maritime expert Alain Malherbe raises questions about the potential use of Agalega’s infrastructure for deep-sea exploration, speculating about the construction of a small oil refinery.

The Prime Minister’s Office denies plans for a refinery but confirms that any request for a foreign scientific vessel to dock at Agalega will be considered with formal authorization from Mauritius being a prerequisite.

Malherbe highlights the deployment of the INS Darshak by the Indian government for hydrographic surveys in Mauritian waters, including Agalega.

The INS Darshak, belonging to the Indian Navy, conducted surveys off the coast of Mauritius and visited Saint-Brandon and Agalega, among other locations.

India and Mauritius signed a Memorandum of Understanding for hydrographic cooperation in 2005, leading to 14 Indian vessel deployments for hydrographic research in Mauritian waters.

This collaboration resulted in the publication of 11 nautical charts and 13 electronic navigational charts.

The BBC article quotes Nathan Picarsic, the co-founder of Horizon Advisory, an American geopolitical intelligence provider, stating that “the Indian Ocean holds enormous potential reserves, motivating the Indian government to intensify its scientific exploration of the ocean depths.”

Source: Defi Media

Spread the News
Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *