Damen Dredging Equipment is proud that its standard components are a vital part of the world’s first state-of-the-art deep sea mining vehicles. Recently the Damen dredge pumps and valves have been fitted in remote operated deep sea mining vehicles. These deep sea mining vehicles, also called Seafloor Production Tools (SPTs), have been manufactured by Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD). The three SPTs were shipped in early February 2016 to a test site in Oman, where all systems will undergo wet testing. The first mining operations are scheduled for 2018, where the deep sea mining vehicles will be working in Papua New Guinea on Nautilus’ Solwara one copper-gold mining project.
SMD designed and built three SPTs, each for a specific task. The first machine, the Auxiliary Cutter, is a preparatory machine that deals with rough terrain and creates benches for the other machines to work; Damen delivered an electrically driven dredge pump type BP45-1100 (Fig. 1) for it, plus a number of dredge valves (Fig. 2). For the second machine, the Bulk Cutter, Damen delivered another dredge pump and dredge valve set. The third machine is the Collecting Machine which collects the cut material and pumps it to the next station. For this Collecting Machine, Damen delivered a customised cutter unit, 3 electrically driven dredge pumps type E-BP2320 as well as a number of dredge valves.