Regulatory News

The Research Company for Mineral Resources (CPRM), an agency linked to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, has just launched the second of a series of six expeditions on the high seas with the objective of mapping the Rio Grande Rise, an underwater mountain range located 1,500 km off the Brazilian coast with a depth ranging between 600 and 4,000 meters. At this site, the presence of nickel, platinum and cobalt, among other minerals were identified.

The collection of test samples involves a debate over the preservation of the ecosystem. For oceanographer, David Zee of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), it is very difficult to have full control of what happens at sea. “This type of exploration brings to light particles deposited there for thousands of years, which can change the metabolism of micro-organisms, and with time, impact the biodiversity of that region,” he says.

According to Kaiser Gonçalves de Souza, head of marine geology at the CPMR, a team of 38 researchers, including geologists, oceanographers, and biologists, are working on the project. At the moment, marine species mapping is being done.

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