Undersea Prospecting

Inactive 5 metre high chimney spires with ‘beehive’-like tops occur at the Brothers NW caldera site. These chimneys are coated in iron oxides (yellow) and bacteria (white)

Inactive 5 metre high chimney spires with ‘beehive’-like tops occur at the Brothers NW caldera site. These chimneys are coated in iron oxides (yellow) and bacteria (white)

Offshore New Zealand has huge potential for new discoveries and the development of resources, such as:

  • oil and gas
  • methane hydrates (crystallised natural gas)
  • alluvial (placer) gold
  • ironsand (sand with a high concentration of iron)
  • volcanic massive sulphides
  • ferromanganese deposits

These undersea deposits may become strategically important as traditional sources become more difficult to find, to develop, or are exhausted.

The inside of the chimneys are rich in barium, lead and zinc. Copper also occurs in the yellow mineral chalcopyrite

The inside of the chimneys are rich in barium, lead and zinc. Copper also occurs in the yellow mineral chalcopyrite