Geologists claim there is enough gold in the oceans to give each living person 8-9 pounds of it. There are also tons of copper, zinc, and other precious metals.
Scientists have been aware of this treasure for years. It doesn’t exist in the holds of sunken ships, it is a mile below the surface on the ocean floor. Within the next 1 to 5 years at least one company is planning to begin extracting the treasure. It lies in seams that are created when geysers, formed by hydrothermal energy below the ocean floor, literally spit out the precious metals. Temperature’s reach as high as 600 degrees centigrade. When they encounter the cold seawater, they harden, and rest on the ocean floor. These seams can yield ten times more mineral than those mined on land.
Although deep sea mining offers many challenges from the physical effort itself, the weather, fishermen, coastal residents, and expected objections by environmental groups, one Canadian company is preparing to take action. Nautilus Minerals has been granted a 20 year license by the Papua New Guinea government to mine 19 miles off its shore.
Nautilus estimates they will extract 1.3 million tons of ore a year resulting in 100’s of billions of dollars. The process will be scraping the ocean floor to loosen the minerals, removing excess water, and then shipping it to a concentrator facility that will remove the ore from other minerals. During the operation, there will be a process to prevent contamination of the ocean by ensuring the minerals recovered from the ocean floor do not re-enter the water. At least that is the plan.
The operation will involve pressures 160 times greater than those of land based mining, in temperatures that range from below freezing to hundreds of degrees above the boiling point.
With the hope of mining 150 trillion dollars, or more, of gold and other precious minerals from the ocean floor, other companies are looking into similar operations.
Columnist-The Guardian Express