Chinese oceanographic research ship Xiangyanghong 06 set sail from the port of Qingdao Tuesday to conduct polymetallic nodule surveys in the east Pacific.
The country's 47th oceanic expedition is being carried out under an agreement signed by China Minmetals Corporation (CMC) and the International Seabed Authority in May this year, which granted China exclusive rights to search for polymetallic nodules in a 72,000-square-km area of the east Pacific over the next 15 years.
The expedition will survey polymetallic nodule distribution and geologic features, estimate resource amounts and select test mining areas.
The CMC is an important force in China's exploration and use of maritime mineral resources. The company's first maritime expedition will last around 90 days. A total of 26 scientists are on board.