A new project has been announced to reduce the potential environmental impact of future mining by making exploration for deep-seafloor mineral deposits much more effective. ‘Project ULTRA’ has been funded by the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC), and will be led by Professor Bramley Murton at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC).Deep-seafloor mineral deposits can provide vital new metals for emerging technologies, including those that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many deposits were formed by hot springs on the seafloor and the vast majority of these now lie under a blanket of marine sediment. The big question facing geologists is whether these buried mineral deposits still contain valuable metals – have the minerals dissolved since they formed thousands of years ago beneath the Earth’s crust, or become even more concentrated?‘Project ULTRA’ will address these questions using a robotic drilling rig to drill the deposits – this will also generate the first three dimensional image of the deposits, using scientific instruments on the surrounding seafloor to listen to vibrations from the drill as it bores through the seafloor. The boreholes will then be sealed and returned to a year later, when fluids will be tapped-off from the plugs to test for reactions deep inside the deposit, NOC explained.The rock core taken by the drill, and these fluid samples, will reveal the composition and structure of these types of mineral deposit, their sub-seafloor fluid pathways, alteration of the host rock, and the preservation processes of their ore minerals.By using this information to identify where the most valuable metals are located in the deposit, Project ULTRA will help ensure any future exploitation would be able to minimize the disturbance to the seafloor and its surrounding environment.This project forms part of the NOC’s ongoing research into seafloor resources and is a collaboration with the British Geological Survey (BGS), the Universities of Southampton, Cardiff and Leeds, Memorial University in Canada, as well as Oxford Museum, GEOMAR, Nautilus Minerals, VNIIOkeangeologia from Russia, and SMD.
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Olawale Ajimotokan in AbujaThe Confederation of African Football (CAF) has officially released the cash entitlements of all teams that participated at the 5th African Nations Championship in Morocco, with second-placed Nigeria to earn the sum of $400,000 and not $750,000 as widely touted.The figure is the same amount paid out to the runner-up of the last edition of the competition in Rwanda. It was initially expected that CAF was going to upgrade the prize money of CHAN 2018 to reflect the new sponsor just the way the winner of AFCON 2017, Cameroon was paid upgraded to $4million instead of the previous $1.5million.NFF President Amaju Pinnick, who is also a member of both the CAF Executive Committee and the CAF Emergency Committee, made the clarifications wednesday barelyÂ 24 hours after the Home-based Eagles arrived the country from Morocco with the runner-up trophy.â€œOfficial figures have now shown that hosts and champions Morocco will pocket the sum of $750,000, with silver medallists Nigeria to earn $400,000 and semi finalists Sudan (eventual bronze medallists) and Libya to pocket the sum of $250,000 each.â€œThe four teams that crashed out at the quarter final stage, viz Namibia, Zambia, Angola and Congo will each be $175,000 richer, while the third placed teams in each of the four preliminary groups will get $125,000 each.â€œThe fourth-placed teams in each of the four groups will smile to the bank with $100,000.â€œCAF has spread the monies in such a way that each of the 16 participating teams at the finals would benefit. No team has received its share yet, but once the finance and audit people conclude their work in a number of weeks, the teams would be paid,â€ Pinnick told the NFF website.Super Eaglesâ€™ players and officials, who have been promised 30 per cent of the bonus by the NFF will be smiling to the bank in a few weeksâ€™ time when they get the cash from CAF.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram