Foreword Newsletter 3

Dear reader of the Blue Nodules Newsletter,

It is 2019 and its already our 4th year of the Blue Nodules project. In the previous year started with a lot of uncertainty around the Field Test, but with joint efforts all came together very nicely and achieving all our goals and beyond. By engaging with CSIC and their vessel RV Sarmienta de Gamboa, the first Field Test could take place in excellent conditions in the Gulf of Malaga. A story on this cruise can be found in this letter. Another important achievement was the establishment of the flow sheet from seafloor to sea surface. It seems like a trivial task but in fact it is the spine for a lot of work in the project as it relays and combines data between many partnersand allows for new insights and iterations. A nice example can be found in this Newsletter where new fundamental insights in degradation of nodules in the vertical riser system provides input into the requirements for sea surface processing.

Although we are perfectly in line with our amended program, with a little more than a year to go2019 is going to be a very busy year. This summer the second Field Test in the Gulf of Malaga, more separation tests in the swimming pool in Aachen, engineering and developing the concepts for the full scale mining system and integrated field test, hose and umbilical development final stages, business case and last but not least achieving this all with a minimum impact on the environment. But we managed through cooperation and enthusiasm to achieve beyond all our goals, so I am very confident we will perform in this last year as we did before!