Maori Wood Carving

Underwater Mining Institute:


13-18 November 2002
Te Papa, Wellington, New Zealand

The Focus

The major focus for the 32nd annual Underwater Mining Institute is on formation processes that lead to significant accumulations of potentially commercial metal sulfide minerals on the seafloor. Currently, commercial exploration for such deposits is underway in the Territorial Waters of Papua New Guinea, while scientific interest has led to discoveries of promising deposits and to significant new insights into the processes that form this major class of ore-forming minerals. An international group of eminent and active researchers in this area will present NEW PERSPECTIVES ON SEABED MINERAL DEPOSITS at the Institute and will lead discussions of the issues that are at the forefront of research and exploration.

The UMI provides perhaps the most appropriate setting to discuss these issues. The Institute has an established history of fostering multidisciplinary debate on complex topics related to seabed development. Also, the Institute's primary sponsor, the International Marine Minerals Society, owes no allegiance to any particular commercial, academic, or government body.

In addition to this primary focus, the UMI will also include timely presentations on several other aspects of marine minerals development and study. This year, unpublished scientific and engineering advances and environmental impact analysis related to marine minerals will also be presented and discussed within the informal, comfortable structure that is the essence of the UMI.

The Institute

The UMI has drawn on the expertise of researchers, industry professionals, and environmental, resource, and policy managers worldwide to provide the latest information relevant to seabed minerals. Since the first UMI was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1970, the Institute's primary goal has remained constant--to encourage prudent and responsible development of marine mineral resources through technical presentations in venues that promote informal and free exchange.

The theme varies each year, as does the location and host. Proceedings are not published nor are recordings of the sessions permitted without prior permission from the contributors. Presentations are scrutinized to ensure that the content and interactions of the UMI remain stimulating and fresh. International participation (to date by more than 25 nations) is promoted and supported. This unique and multidisciplinary approach is attributed to the Institute's founder, the late J. Robert "Robby" Moore, whose vision and contributions have laid the groundwork for the continued success of the UMI far beyond the borders of Wisconsin.

The Venue

Wellington--the meeting site of the UMI-- is the financial, political, and cultural capital of New Zealand and offers a sophisticated yet casual experience for all to enjoy. The city boasts of great views, a distinct mix of graceful promenades and landscaping, excellent cafes and performing arts, and a multitude of outdoor and adventure experiences.

The UMI begins with an evening registration followed by two days of technical sessions, an evening banquet, and field tour. The banquet will feature a special guest speaker and be held at the Duxton Wellington Hotel. The final event is a geotechnical tour of several of the most exciting geothermal and volcanic sites on the North Island.

The Host and Program Chair

The New Zealand Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS) hosts the UMI this year. Technical program assistance is provided by CEO Dr. Alexander Malahoff and Dr. Cornel de Ronde of GNS . Charles L. Morgan, a former President of IMMS and longtime worker in the area of seabed minerals, has served as UMI Program Chair since 1994.

The Sponsor

The International Marine Minerals Society (IMMS) is a professional society whose members share a common interest in various aspects of marine minerals. Founded in 1987, the IMMS now includes a worldwide membership of individuals from industry, government agencies, and academic institutions. The primary objective of the IMMS are: (1) to promote and improve the understanding of marine mineral deposits within the province of the global ocean; (2) to aid in the interchange of information among members through networking and formal symposia; (3) to encourage the prudent development of marine mineral resources, including concern for the environment; (4) to encourage research in all aspects of marine minerals development.

The IMMS is a co-sponsor of the Underwater Mining Institute (UMI) and holds its annual meetings in conjunction with the UMI. Members of the IMMS receive a bi-annual newsletter, which includes summaries of the latest developments in the field of marine minerals. On occasion the IMMS presents the Moore Medal award to an individual who has contributed notably to the goals and initiatives of the Society in the areas of research, development and management. The Moore Medal is named in honor of the late Professor J. Robert "Robby" Moore. Professor Moore spent a long and distinguished career dedicated to the goals that are now followed by IMMS. He founded the UMI in 1970, and with the collaboration of several colleagues, initiated IMMS in 1987.

New and continued membership ( to IMMS is encouraged. Also, contributions to SOUNDINGS, the bi-annual newsletter, are welcome at any time. Please keep us informed of your interests and your addresses so that future announcements on IMMS and the UMI can reach you.