The ABS said the guide, which covers aspects such as requirements for hull structure, anchoring and onboard equipment, was necessary due to the increased interest in subsea mining.
"The world demand for metals required for new forms of transportation and electrical storage is increasing. Metals such as copper, cobalt, nickel and manganese exist on land, but are increasingly difficult to extract sustainably. Subsea mining, with the abundant resources on the seabed, offers an alternative," said Matt Tremblay, ABS senior vice president, Global Offshore.
The guide lists ABS requirements for the deployment of subsea mining tools (SMTs) using launch and recovery system, as well as the use of tools for collection of nodules, or disaggregating of polymetallic crust and seafloor sulfides deposits.
It also details requirements for extraction of ore from slurry using onboard dewatering and cargo handling systems, and covers the return of mine tailings back to the depth as required by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) or coastal states using subsea mining downcomer and pumping systems.
"This guide underscores the ABS mission to promote the safety of life, property and the environment by helping the industry develop safer offshore mining units, and subsea mining equipment and systems," Tremblay said.