Q. Consider the following statements regarding “Poly-metallic Nodules”:
1. These are commonly called manganese nodules.
2. These are most abundant on abyssal plains.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

[A] 1 only

[B] 2 only

[C] Both 1 and 2

[D] Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: C

Of all the mineral resources considered as potential targets for deep-sea mining, poly-metallic nodules (also commonly called manganese nodules) are probably the most likely commodity to be developed into a commercial operation.  

  • Poly-metallic nodules are rounded accretions of manganese and iron hydroxides that cover vast areas of the seafloor, but are most abundant on abyssal plains at water depths of 4000-6500 metres.  
  • They form through the aggregation of layers of iron and manganese hydroxides around a central particle (such as a shell or small rock fragment), and range in size from a few millimeters to tens of centimeters.  
  • The composition of nodules varies with their environment of formation, but in addition to manganese and iron, they can contain nickel, copper and cobalt in commercially attractive concentrations as well as traces of other valuable metals such as molybdenum, zirconium and Rare Earth Elements.  

Source: Agrahari