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Seafloor mining robots and equipment nearing completion to mine for gold, silver and copper

Posted in Science on 24th Oct, 2013 02:42 AM by AlexMuller

Nautilus Minerals plans to continue searching for additional commercially viable deposits of copper, gold, zinc, and silver outside of Fiji, Tonga, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and in the western part of the Pacific Ocean.


Solwara 1 was supposed to start operations in 2013, but this was postponed.

Nautilus Minerals will use submersible robots to work on the ocean floor and break apart loose ore. A pipeline will then transport the ore to a specialty vessel on the surface, which then will transport the ore to shore for refining. 
Nautilus Minerals has a sales agreement with a Chinese company for the minerals that are recovered. China has a huge demand for copper.
“This is an extremely rich deposit of gold and copper,” says Terje Bjerkgård from Norway’s Geological Survey (NGU). He studies mineral resources and has participated in two research expeditions that included the area around Papua New Guinea.
“Underwater mining will first be commercialized in the Pacific,” he says. “The largest known deposit on the ocean floor is in Middle Valley in the northeast Pacific Ocean, off Canada. Other interesting deposits are north of New Zealand. Underwater mining will become more viable as land-based deposits become harder and more expensive to exploit. The challenges are tied to the distinct fauna around the hot springs.” 
Many countries are active in securing rights to underwater mineral resources, even though the start of large-scale mining efforts remains years away. 
“Many countries, such as China, Russia, Japan, France and India, are positioning themselves strategically to secure resource areas in international waters,” says Søreide. “The politics of international oceans is full of intricate details, with a lot of the laws tied to the international laws of the sea.” 

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Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-10-24
Many countries, such as China, Russia, Japan, France and India, are positioning themselves. I do not see the USA on this list. Why are they targeting international waters. Have they already depleted their own waters? Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-10-24
It is sad we have come to this. What happens when this is depleted to? I say mine the asteroids first. Leave the oceans alone. Only take what you need. People do not need a lot of stuff they have already. One mansion for one person type of thing. Private jets when they could fly first class. Three cars when one would do. Reply


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