Amid intense competition between countries in the world to get resources, advanced nations focus on finding deep-sea resources. Since natural resources derived from the environment are limited, developed countries are actively seeking to develop a deep-sea submersible to search for natural resources under the deep ocean.
Korea will join the ranks of those countries with a plan to finish the development of the submarine by 2020.
On October 25, the Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology and the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea, or IFREMER, reached an agreement to develop a 6,000-meter manned submersible with a total investment of 270 billion won (US$254 million).
Located on the deep-sea floor at about 2,000 m, hydrothermal vent sites are filled with a lot of mineral resources such as gold and silver. Manganese nodules, which are essential for the steel, aerospace, and electronics industries, can be collected in large quantities on the sea floor at depths of about 5,000m.
High-performance submarines make it easier to discover more useful resources on the deep sea floor. In particular, 6,000-meter manned submersibles are reported to have the capacity to explore roughly 98% of the deep sea in the world.