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Nikitin Seamount

Why is it in the news?

  • India has recently applied to the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for exploration rights to two vast tracts in the Indian Ocean seabed.

More about the news

  • India has applied for exploration rights to the AN Seamount as well as the Carlsberg Ridge in the Central Indian Ocean.
  • The aim is to investigate polymetallic sulphides, which are reportedly rich in copper, zinc, gold, and silver.

About Nikitin Seamount (AN Seamount)

  • The AN Seamount, also known as the Afanasy, is a cobalt-rich crust located in the Central Indian Basin. It spans approximately 400 km in length and 150 km in width.
  • Situated around 3,000 km away from India’s coast, it rises from an oceanic depth of about 4,800 meters to approximately 1,200 meters.
  • Survey data from approximately two decades ago indicate rich deposits of cobalt, nickel, manganese, and copper.

Why India applied for exploration?

  • India aims to tap into the tremendous potential reserves of the Indian Ocean.
  • With increasing global demand for clean energy technologies, the extraction of critical minerals is projected to rise significantly. India seeks to secure these minerals, essential for meeting its renewable energy targets.
  • India is motivated by concerns over China’s dominance in the processing of critical minerals, aiming to reduce dependency on a single source. China currently controls 100% of the refined supply of natural graphite and dysprosium, 70% of cobalt and almost 60% of all processed lithium and manganese.
About the International Seabed Authority (ISA)

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 ISA is an autonomous international organization established under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and its 1994 Agreement.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 It regulates the exploration and exploitation of marine non-living resources in international waters.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 ISA has 169 Members, including 168 Member States and the European Union, and is headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica.

India’s Maritime Zone

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 India’s maritime zone includes territorial waters (up to 12 nautical miles), contiguous zone (up to 24 nautical miles), and an exclusive economic zone (up to 200 nautical miles).

路聽聽聽聽聽 Beyond these zones lie the high seas, open to exploration with permission from the ISA.


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