Instead of fighting over Gold, Why not mine for New?? Will Deep-sea Mining Yield an Underwater Gold Rush?
Posted By: Susoni
Date: Sunday, 20-Jul-2014 12:02:50
Of course that wouldn't satisfy the military industrial complex/Banking .. They'd go broke without manipulated wars. Just imagine this much gold!! It's a commodity like any other. Flood the markets with too much and the price goes down. ... We have enough oil, we have enough gold.. It is the bankers who manipulate it's prices...
Think about that!!
A mile beneath the ocean's waves waits a buried cache beyond any treasure hunter's wildest dreams: gold, copper, zinc, and other valuable minerals.
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Scientists have known about the bounty for decades, but only recently has rising demand for such commodities sparked interest in actually surfacing it. The treasure doesn't lie in the holds of sunken ships, but in natural mineral deposits that a handful of companies are poised to begin mining sometime in the next one to five years.
The deposits aren't too hard to find—they're in seams spread along the seafloor, where natural hydrothermal vents eject rich concentrations of metals and minerals.
These underwater geysers spit out fluids with temperatures exceeding 600ºC. And when those fluids hit the icy seawater, minerals precipitate out, falling to the ocean floor.
The deposits can yield as much as ten times the desirable minerals as a seam that's mined on land.
While different vent systems contain varying concentrations of precious minerals, the deep sea contains enough mineable gold that there's nine pounds (four kilograms) of it for every person on Earth, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Ocean Service.
At today's gold prices, that's a volume worth more than $150 trillion.
Can an Industry Be Born?
But a fledgling deep-sea mining industry faces a host of challenges before it can claim the precious minerals, from the need for new mining technology and serious capital to the concerns of conservationists, fishers, and coastal residents.
The roadblocks are coming into view in the coastal waters of Papua New Guinea, where the seafloor contains copper, zinc, and gold deposits worth hundreds of millions of dollars and where one company, Nautilus Minerals, hopes to launch the world's first deep-sea mining operation.
Animation: How Robots Could Mine Seafloor
It turns out that, far from the sun's life-giving light, the same minerals now eyed by the mining industry support lively communities.
Now some researchers fear that deep-sea mining could jeopardize those communities by altering their habitats before the systems have been fully explored and explained.
"We're still just grappling with this reality of commercialization of the deep sea," says Cindy Van Dover, director of Duke University's Marine Lab. "And scrambling to figure out what we need to know."
Van Dover was aboard the first manned biological exploration of the hydrothermal vents in 1982 and was the only woman to pilot the submersible Alvin. Despite the strides that have been made in understanding the deep sea, she says, it's still a young science.
When it comes to the impacts of mining on any deep-sea life, "there's a particular type of research that needs to be done," she says. "We haven't yet studied the ecosystem services and functions of the deep sea to understand what we'd lose.
"We don't yet know what we need to know," Van Dover says.
Conservationists also say they want to know more about the vent ecosystems and how they will be mined.
"The whole world is new to the concept of deep-sea mining," says Helen Rosenbaum, coordinator of the Deep Sea Mining Campaign, a small activist group in Australia that campaigns against mining the Solwara 1 site.