India looks to deep sea mining

India is building a processing plant and investing in exploration equipment in an attempt to mine rare earths and other minerals under its oceans.

The Guardian reports India is spending around $US135 million on new sea mining equipment to help meet the country's demand for minerals.

India's ocean exploration program is around two decades old, and focuses on nickel, copper, cobalt, and rare earths, which are particularly abundant in the Central Indian Basin.

So far India has tested seabed mining to a depth of 512 metres but it's now targeting depths up to 6,000m.

The investment represents the latest development in the rising trend of seabed mining.

Last month news emerged a Chinese company had plans to build a nuclear-powered deep sea mining station in the western Pacific.

Earlier this month the Papua new Guinea Government also gave the go-ahead for Nautilus Minerals to start the world's first deep sea mining project.

Image: NOAA/ RSC

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.