AREVA takes part in "Futuna 2010" campaign
ACTIVITIES / MINING
December 09, 2010
Following the Grenelle de la Mer (a government-sponsored public forum for the discussion and negotiation of issues related to the oceans and seas), AREVA took part in an exploration campaign focusing on mineral resources and deep-water biodiversity in France’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
The Futuna 2010 campaign was carried out by Ifremer in waters off the Wallis and Futuna Islands between August 3 and September 23. It was conducted in the framework of a new partnership that includes the Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and the Sea, the Territory of Wallis and Futuna Islands, public institutions (Ifremer, the Protected Marine Areas Agency (AAMP), the Geological and Mining Research Office (BRGM), and companies working in the mining sector (AREVA, Eramet, and Technip).
Scientists working on the Ifremer research vessel L’Atalante, which was equipped with the submarine Nautile, collected new data on a deep-water zone about which virtually nothing is known. Important findings were made in the areas of geology and biodiversity. In particular, the multidisciplinary team discovered a new active ridge and a major active volcano, “Kulolasi.” This volcano contains the first deep hydrothermal and high-temperature site ever found in the French EEZ. It is a potential area for mineral deposits, in particular of base metals (copper, zinc, gold, etc.).
All the collected samples (fluids, rocks and living organisms) will be fully analyzed on land by the scientific organizations cooperating in this research effort.