THE 47TH UNDERWATER MINING CONFERENCE (UMC'18) 10 to 14th of September
The 47th Underwater Mining Conference (UMC’18) was presented by the International Marine Minerals Society (IMMS) in partnership with the K.G. Jebsen Centre for Deep Sea Research (KGDeepSea) at the University of Bergen and Global Centres of Expertise Subsea (GCE Subsea).
Filipa Marques, Rolf Pedersen and Jon Hellevang coordinated this event on the Bergen side, whereas Karynne Morgan (Uni Hawai’i) was the point of contact with the IMMS.
The event took place at the Grieghallen, from 10 to 14th of September, and had a record attendance with 210 participants from 26 countries.
We welcomed presentations from key players in deep sea mining prospective activities such as researchers, ISA nation contractors, sub-sea technology partners, and other sectors of timely interest in marine minerals.
Registered attendants (as well as graduating students from the UiB) gathered in Bergen to discuss and learn about the current marine R&D knowledge and bring it forward into the prospective developments of subsea solutions for deep sea mining beyond oil and gas.
The conference initiated with a welcoming reception, two days of technical sessions (see program here) and commercial exhibits at the Grieghallen, spouses’ day tours, a banquet, and two geotechnical field tours.
Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde, State Secretary, Norway, opened the UMC with a presentation on Resource Management of Seabed Minerals on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
The K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea (University of Tromsø), conducted the session in Law of the Sea on matters that relate to the regulation of sea mining operations, moderated by Professor Tore Henriksen.
The Law of the Sea session featured keynote presentations by Dr. Harald Brekke, Vice Chair of the Legal and Technical Commission, International Seabed Authority, on "ISA Draft Regulations for Exploitation" and Professor Maria das Neves, Faculty of Law, University of Tromsø, on "Deep-sea Mining: Intersections with Other Activities".
On day two we had a keynote presentation by Professor Nobuyuki Okamoto, Deputy Director General, Marine Mining Technology Department, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), on the "World‘s First Lifting Test for Polymetallic Sulphides in the EEZ of Japan”.
Professor Rolf B. Pedersen gave an overview keynote talk on the "Hydrothermal activity and deep-sea mineral deposits at the ultraslow spreading ridges: examples from the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge system” highlighting the importance of continuous fundamental research to better understand the Arctic deep sea .
Several UiB students and researchers presented their research work either by oral presentation (Linn Olsen and Anne Stensland) or by posters contributing to the exchange of ideas and discussion.
Three students’ awards, best poster, best presentation, best abstract, were attributed after careful evaluation from a jury. Two student awards were supported by the Bergen Kommune and a third by the IMMS - International Marine Minerals Society.
The overbooked Geotechnical Field Tours I and II, that took place on Sept 13th and Sept 14th, showed the UMC’18 attendants’ important subsea technological developments in Bergen as well as the geology of ancient ore deposits in the region.
We believe that this event created excellent opportunities for strengthening and promoting academia-industry ties in marine and maritime matters as well as advertising for the excellent technological hub that Bergen (and Norway) represents.