NONFUEL MINERAL RESOURCES OF THE PACIFIC EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE.
The Pacific Exclusive Economic Zone contains a variety of hard mineral resources. Sand and gravel and their associated placer deposits of heavy minerals are the most likely to be developed in the near future, but offshore and deep water deposits of phosphorite, abyssal manganese nodules, ferromanganese crusts enriched in cobalt, and massive sulfide deposits all represent future resources. The distribution, extent, and formation of these deposits are poorly understood and will be clarified only with additional exploration, framework geologic mapping, and study of the processes by which these resources form. It is pointed out that the initial discovery of most hard-mineral resources in the EEZ was made during routine scientific marine-geologic surveys aimed at understanding the framework geology and geologic processes of an offshore region.