IHC Merwede is delighted to announce that it has strengthened its position in the market for deep sea dredging and mining with the strategic acquisition of MMP, which is based in Cape Town, South Africa. The new name of the company will be IHC Marine and Mineral Projects (IHC MMP).
MMP was founded in 1993 as a consultancy to serve the growing marine diamond mining industry off the West Coast of South Africa. It has been successful for more than 15 years. Unique to IHC MMP is their ability to engineer and deliver tailor made underwater mining systems and equipment. Their prior proven experience and project management capability in underwater mining distinguish them from other mining consultants. This makes them unique in the world. Other shareholders include management, staff and a black economic empowerment investor.
The deep sea mining industry is expanding and as such the number of enquiries for deep sea dredging and mining solutions are increasing significantly. Numerous studies for systems to explore, develop and mine rare and therefore precious minerals, such as diamonds, gold, gas, hydrates and other heavy minerals, from the depths of the oceans are already in progress.
The demand for raw materials is expected to double in the next 25 years, according to studies by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Modern technological solutions for reducing the environmental impact of the human race depend more and more on the use of rare materials, e.g. for the production of wind farms or fuel cells for electric cars.
With 70 per cent of the earth's surface consisting of water, it is therefore logical to assume that the future lies underwater. That's why IHC Merwede has combined all of its activities in this sector to create a new business unit, IHC Deep Sea Dredging & Mining. It will focus on excavation techniques in deep water (up to 3,000 metres) as well as vertical transportation from the sea bed to the surface.
With this strategic acquisition IHC Merwede implements an ambitious acquisition strategy to strengthen and enlarge all its operating business area's internationally. By selecting MMP, IHC Merwede now has a foothold in South Africa and is able to provide the mining industry with innovative engineering solutions and leading technology for deep sea mining equipment.