Deep-sea polymetallic nodules are considered to be an important potential resource for nickel, copper, manganese and cobalt. The research has showed that they contain a large variety of other metals, including molybdenum, zinc, zirconium, lithium, platinum, titanium, germanium, yttrium, and REEs, which increased the nodules combined value as an alternative supplies for expanding economies, high technology and emerging green energy technologies.
The highest nodule abundance (more than 10 kg/m2) with the high average percentage of metals (at least 2.5 % content for Ni+Cu, 0.2% Co, 30% Mn, 0.15% Zn,0.07% Mo, etc.) was found at seafloor in the eastern equatorial Pacific (Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone, CCZ) and in the central equatorial Indian Ocean.

Within the recent decade, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) granted several national and multinational entities the exclusive 15-years contracts for polymetallic nodules exploration in the claimed areas, each covering 75,000 km2 of the international seabed area. The commercial viability of nodule mining has yet to be established, but the size of deposits, the grades of several metals contained in nodules as well as promising trends in metals market continue to motivate contractors to carry out their exploration activity.