Dom Post: Scientists seek new life in mine zone

As mining companies eye the Kermadec Arc for their underwater mineral deposits, NIWA scientists will next week travel to the area to learn more about its  flora and fauna.

Relatively little is known about the area’s biology, but it is known to have rich deposits of sulphur, iron, manganese and copper (amongst other minerals).

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Principal scientist Ashley Rowden said the team would be exploring a rugged underwater terrain where inactive chimneys from underwater volcanoes have ejected sulphide deposits.

“”We don’t know much about what’s living there.”

“The mineral wealth of the Kermadec Arc, 200 kilometres northeast of Auckland, would be scanned in an attempt to improve New Zealand’s understanding of the size of the mineral resources there, and to see how vulnerable the ecosystem was.

“Mining companies were more interested in areas in which vents were no longer active but had left behind mineral deposits.”