Adapted To Excavate Specific Discrete Material Patents (Class 37/314)
  • Patent number: 10153626
    Abstract: A subsea installation tool for installing a flexible body, e.g. a subsea fiber cable on a seabed from a surface vessel, and an associated method for installing the flexible body on the seabed is provided. The installation tool includes a tensioner that may be coupled to the flexible body to actively pull it down, thus increasing tension in an upper section of the cable from the installation vessel to the installation tool. High tension in the upper part of the cable gives good control even in strong sea currents. At the same time the tensioner enables lower tension in the bottom part cable from the installation tool to the seabed, giving good control of the touchdown position on the seabed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2018
    Assignee: OPTOPLAN AS
    Inventor: Arne Berg
  • Patent number: 9879402
    Abstract: A system for seafloor mining comprising a vertical riser anchored to the seafloor; a mining machine to deliver seafloor ore to the vertical riser; a lifting system to pass the ore through the vertical riser; and a transport vessel removably connected to the vertical riser to receive ore from the vertical riser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2018
    Assignee: NAUTILUS MINERALS NIUGINI LIMITED
    Inventor: Glen Smith
  • Patent number: 9127427
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to systems and methods for recovering mature fine tailings (MFT) from oil sands tailings ponds. Some examples include a hollow, fully enclosed around its perimeter, ideally of cylindrical form, open bottom structure (a hollow conduit), of predetermined geometry, which is placed at the pond surface. The hollow conduit can penetrate MFT deposits to or below a level at which MFT of required density is located. A width or diameter of the hollow conduit can be determined with respect to the MFT inflow velocity and the corresponding shear rate, so as to enable MFT flow into the hollow conduit at a rate matching a rate at which the MFT is removed from the pond (e.g., a recovery rate). An MFT fill level inside the hollow conduit can be kept constant and equal to a required fill level throughout MFT recovery operations. MFT can enter the hollow conduit during MFT recovery operations solely under action of hydraulic head pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2015
    Assignee: Technika Engineering Ltd.
    Inventor: Rade Svorcan
  • Patent number: 9102504
    Abstract: A truss lifting process and apparatus for coupling a lifting truss to a load to be lifted especially for lifting a large prefabricated concrete panel in the making of a dual panel truss having a pair of spaced apart concrete panels. A lifting truss has a plurality of spaced hydraulic cylinders hanging therefrom with each hydraulic cylinder having a grappling hook attached thereto for attaching to an attachment member on an object to be lifted. The plurality of hydraulic cylinders are actuated simultaneously to pull each coupled grappling hook and attachment member taut and then locked for the lifting truss to lift the attached object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2015
    Assignee: Finfrock Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert D Finfrock, Allen R Finfrock
  • Publication number: 20140137443
    Abstract: An apparatus for seafloor stockpiling that has a slurry inlet that receives slurry from a seafloor tool via a slurry transfer pipe and walls that, together with the seafloor, define a cavity having a stockpiling volume. The walls are made substantially of a water permeable material, such as a filter fabric or geotextile, that captures and contains seafloor material present in slurry received from the slurry inlet, while permitting egress of water from the slurry. In a preferred form the seafloor stockpiling device is a hood with an open bottom that is located on a seafloor surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 15, 2012
    Publication date: May 22, 2014
    Applicant: NAUTILUS MINERALS PACIFIC PTY LTD
    Inventors: Glen Robert Jones, Daal Hallam Jaffers, Roland Gunter Berndt, Paul David Griffiths, David Edward Milburn
  • Patent number: 8399790
    Abstract: Various embodiments of methods and systems are provided for mining alluvial gold deposits. The methods can comprise collecting feed from alluvium and washing the feed at high pressure. The feed can be separated into a plurality of separate fractions. At least one fraction is transferred to a metal sensor system using a conveyer, wherein when gold is detected in a piece of the fraction, an air blast can be targeted and delivered at the piece, with the air blast diverting the piece to a receiving container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Inventor: James Edward Slade
  • Publication number: 20130055600
    Abstract: A fishing dredge provides a mount for an underwater camera and a shuttle for relieving the pressure on the camera. Conventional fishing dredges include no dedicated means to attach an underwater camera. The fishing dredge herein described adds a hydrodynamic shuttle and a build in mount for an underwater camera, such as a Gopro®, to mount in the center of the fishing dredge. A keel weight can be added to the bottom of the shuttle to keep it from spinning during use.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 4, 2012
    Publication date: March 7, 2013
    Inventors: David Thomas Burt, Michael Leonard Burt
  • Patent number: 8165722
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a velocity and concentration adjustable coupling pipe apparatus equipped between a lifting pipe and a collector. The apparatus includes a coupling pipe having a lower inlet and an upper outlet which are different in diameter from each other. A seawater inlet pipe passes through a side surface of the coupling pipe to permit inflow of seawater. A slurry flow control valve is provided in the coupling pipe to control the inflow of slurry. A seawater flow control valve is provided in the seawater inlet pipe to control the inflow of the seawater. A first sensor measures concentration of slurry discharged through the upper outlet. A second sensor measures velocity of the discharged slurry. A third sensor measures velocity of slurry introduced into the lower inlet. A control panel controls the opening ratio of each of the slurry and seawater flow control valves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: Korea Institute of Geoscience And Mineral Resources (KIGAM)
    Inventors: Chi-Ho Yoon, Byung-Sik Ahn, Jong-Myung Park
  • Patent number: 8091255
    Abstract: An apparatus to gather and relocate benthic life and life supporting material for use in combination with a seabed or aquatic bed dredger, plough, mole or other seabed disturbing apparatus comprising a means of gathering the benthic life and life supporting material in, on or above the seabed in front of and in the path of the draghead or said seabed disturbing apparatus, thereby preventing entrainment or damage to the benthic life, and a means of releasing the benthic organisms and life supporting material via a directional exit duct, away from the work area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2012
    Inventor: Ray Drabble
  • Patent number: 7784201
    Abstract: Applicants have created a method and system of deep sea mining comprising mining SMS deposits from the sea floor with a subsea miner, pumping the solids from the subsea miner through a jumper and pumping the solids from the jumper up a riser to a surface vessel. Further, applicants have created a method of deploying a deep sea mining system, comprising stacking a riser hangoff structure on top of a subsea pump module forming an assembly; picking up the assembly by a hanging mechanism, hanging the assembly on a moon pool, attaching a first riser joint; disconnecting the riser hangoff structure from the assembly; and attaching at least one second riser joint to form the riser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2010
    Assignee: Technip France
    Inventors: Chenteh Alan Yu, Yongming Cheng
  • Patent number: 7690135
    Abstract: Applicants have created a method and system of deep sea mining comprising mining SMS deposits from the sea floor with a subsea miner, pumping the solids from the subsea miner through a jumper and pumping the solids from the jumper up a riser to a surface vessel. Further, applicants have created a method of deploying a deep sea mining system, comprising stacking a riser hangoff structure on top of a subsea pump module forming an assembly; picking up the assembly by a hanging mechanism, hanging the assembly on a moon pool, attaching a first riser joint; disconnecting the riser hangoff structure from the assembly; and attaching at least one second riser joint to form the riser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2010
    Assignee: Technip France
    Inventors: Chenteh Alan Yu, Robert Schoenberg
  • Patent number: 7610699
    Abstract: The assembly comprises a frame-truss subassembly, to which are attached an internal subassembly for directing a flow of encountered water during dragging and a subassembly for collecting and discharging shellfish. An external subassembly is used for encasing the frame-truss subassembly together with the internal subassembly and the subassembly for collecting and discharging shellfish. The frame-truss subassembly includes a pair of lateral trusses, spaced at a distance commensurable with a width of the assembly. The internal subassembly includes an anterior panel with a forwards oriented concavity and a posterior panel with a backwards oriented concavity. The subassembly for collecting and discharging, disposed behind the internal subassembly includes a louver platform, a grid receptacle supported by the platform and a mechanism for topple over the grid receptacle. At least two sets of a multiplicity of hinged flaps are used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2009
    Inventor: Marcel Gerard Boudreau
  • Publication number: 20090077835
    Abstract: Applicants have created a method and system of deep sea mining comprising mining SMS deposits from the sea floor with a subsea miner, pumping the solids from the subsea miner through a jumper and pumping the solids from the jumper up a riser to a surface vessel. Further, applicants have created a method of deploying a deep sea mining system, comprising stacking a riser hangoff structure on top of a subsea pump module forming an assembly; picking up the assembly by a hanging mechanism, hanging the assembly on a moon pool, attaching a first riser joint; disconnecting the riser hangoff structure from the assembly; and attaching at least one second riser joint to form the riser.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 23, 2008
    Publication date: March 26, 2009
    Applicant: TECHNIP FRANCE
    Inventors: Chenteh Alan Yu, Robert Schoenberg
  • Patent number: 7011749
    Abstract: A system for treating sediments contaminated with organic contaminants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other contaminants polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) includes treating the sediments with ozone to react the contaminants. The system is particularly effective for remediation of PCBs. In an in-situ system for remediating sediments in underwater sediment beds that are contaminated with (PCBs) and other contaminants, the contaminated sediments are treated with ozone with an ozonator conveyed over the sediment bed to mix the sediment with the ozone. The ozone reacts with the PCBs to form more reactive and biodegradable products. The treated sediment is then redeposited upon the sediment bed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2006
    Assignee: University of Utah Research Foundation
    Inventors: Donald F. Hayes, Puikwan A. Hong
  • Patent number: 6832465
    Abstract: An aquatic weeding device is provided for removing aquatic vegetation from a body of water and transporting the vegetation to a desired location. The weeder includes at least one weeding element connected with respect to a vessel for collecting aquatic vegetation, an extendable and retractable weed transporter positioned on the vessel for transporting the cut vegetation to a desired location, and a weed transferor positioned on the vessel for transferring the collected vegetation from the weeding element to the weed transporter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2004
    Inventors: Ronald F. Horvath, Thad F. Elsmo, Frank M. Bilicki
  • Publication number: 20040079003
    Abstract: An aquatic weeding device is provided for removing aquatic vegetation from a body of water and transporting the vegetation to a desired location. The weeder includes at least one weeding element connected with respect to a vessel for collecting aquatic vegetation, an extendable and retractable weed transporter positioned on the vessel for transporting the cut vegetation to a desired location, and a weed transferor positioned on the vessel for transferring the collected vegetation from the weeding element to the weed transporter.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 24, 2002
    Publication date: April 29, 2004
    Inventors: Ronald F. Horvath, Thad F. Elsmo, Frank M. Bilicki
  • Patent number: 6499239
    Abstract: A method for extracting and grading or sizing sand, gravel or a mixture thereof, from a pit formed in untouched ground. Liquid is sprayed into the ground, resulting in a fluidized state in the ground, in which state sand or gravel with a relatively high relative density and/or relatively large dimensions moves downwards, and sand or gravel material with a relatively low relative density and/or relatively small dimensions moves upwards. Thus a pit is formed in the ground which contains fluidized sand or gravel, in such a manner that a layered state is obtained. The layer of sand or gravel with a specific relative density and/or size is sucked out, while the remaining fluidized material remains behind in order to stabilize the wall of the pit. The material which has been sucked out is fed to a grading device or sizing device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2002
    Assignee: De Groot Nijkerk Machinefabriek BV
    Inventors: Hendrikus Van Berk, Sjerp Zeldenrust
  • Patent number: 6343559
    Abstract: A system for transporting material recovered in a dredging operation performed by a dredge is disclosed. The system includes a water-borne material distribution vessel including a conveyor system for receiving and depositing the recovered material. It also includes at least one water-borne material transportation vessel for transporting recovered material from the dredge to the material distribution vessel. The water-borne material distribution vessel can deposit the material into the waterway to form an island (which may be a levy), into another water-borne vessel, or into an on-shore station such as a wheeled transportation vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2002
    Assignee: Kress Corporation
    Inventor: Dennis R. Thomas
  • Publication number: 20010035133
    Abstract: The present invention concerns a device for sea urchins picking or the like from a water-filed area and collecting the urchins into a collecting member without damaging the same. The device includes an operable picking member for intaking and conveying an urchin-water mixture via a piping system into the collecting member, a draining system for draining water of the mixture from the collecting member and a pumping member for ensuring flow of the mixture within the picking member, piping system and collecting member, and of the water through the draining system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 6, 2001
    Publication date: November 1, 2001
    Inventor: Marc Riverin
  • Patent number: 6216367
    Abstract: A sluice comprising a series of sequential, interconnected chutes, each inverting a stratified slurry, discharges the slurry in each chute over a mesh screen in a subsequent chute and eventually out of the sluice, with each incremental stage designed to treat smaller matter. An array of cones is disposed on each chute bottom over which the slurry passes, each cone in the array having an opening oriented downwater and including a ridge over-hanging its opening also oriented downwater, such that heavy matter settling from the mineral matrix is drawn into the cone. Below the cone array is a perforated mat. Also below the array, beginning at the minor's moss mat and extending downwater, is a textured mat, typically with upstanding ribs transverse to the chute water flow that also tends to capture settling material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2001
    Inventor: George E. Tubbs
  • Patent number: 6079130
    Abstract: A portable gold mining dredge for use in collecting potentially gold containing aggregate from streambeds for subsequent classification and separation. The dredge has a receptacle, comprised of a drum with a water-tight lid, for receiving the aqueous dredged aggregate. The receptacle is of a size suitable for carrying. A self-priming pump having an inlet port and an outlet port is attached to the receptacle. A dip tube extends into the receptacle, the outer end of the dip tube being connected to the inlet port of the pump by a conduit. A suction tube communicates with the interior of the receptacle. Hoses are connected to the inlet of the suction tube and to the outlet port of the pump. During operation the suction hose is used to suck up aqueous aggregate from a streambed and the discharge hose is used to wash aggregate from cracks and crevices in rocks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2000
    Inventor: Thomas A. Freeman
  • Patent number: 5412884
    Abstract: A dragline apparatus for cleaning waste material and sludge in clarifier and settling ponds and lagoons includes a pair of side walls and a back wall forming a frame supported on front and rear flotation rollers. Between the home member is at least one blade, pivotally mounted for swinging movement from an active to an inactive position. Cables are connected to the front and rear of the frame and to prime movers on the banks of a pond to be cleaned.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 9, 1995
    Inventors: Wesley A. Staples, Russell E. Staples
  • Patent number: 5328250
    Abstract: A self-propelled machine has an internal chamber having a conveyor mechanism extending through an opening in a wall. A buoyancy control allows admission of pressurized air into the chamber to allow adjustment of the buoyancy of the machine. A series of conveyors within the chamber convey material into the chamber which is washed to leave behind sediment and other materials. Washed nodules are conveyed to a transport machine and are stacked in the transport machine. The transport machine may be disconnected from the self-propelled machine to allow nodules to be brought to the surface. Sensors are provided in the self-propelled machine to control attitude, direction, and movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 12, 1994
    Inventor: Ronald Upright
  • Patent number: 5199767
    Abstract: Heavy media, which are heavier than the bulk density of nodules of raw deepsea mineral resources, are used to discharge the nodules on a marine ship through a lifting pipe from a sea floor U-tube connecting with a downstream pipe laid to the deepsea bottom, by operating a piston pump on the marine ship. The heavy media are fed through the downstream pipe, and when nodules mined at the deepsea floor, mainly manganese nodules and cobalt-rich crusts which contain useful heavy metal, are fed into the sea floor U-tube through feeding devices, the nodules are continuously lifted with the heavy media through the lifting pipe from the sea floor to the marine ship, by buoyant force yielding from the heavy medium. This method requires much smaller power consumption than any conventional method of lifting nodules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 1991
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1993
    Inventor: Kenjiro Jimbo