5 February 2021

Seafloor massive sulfides (SMS) are modern equivalents of VMS deposits in the deep ocean and likely become significant sources for base and precious metal supply in the near future. Electrical and electromagnetic (EM) methods have shown success in locating sulfide ore deposits. However, system operation in rough mid-ocean ridge topography and data interpretation of marine polymetallic sulfides is still challenging. We present a new marine EM instrument together with an integrated geophysical mapping approach for resource assessment and subsurface classification, correlating field EM data with petrophysical and geochemical analysis. Results provide first insights into the subsurface architecture of active and extinct sulfide ore deposits on Central Indian Ridge and demonstrate the efficiency of this new method for deep-sea mineral exploration.

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