Undersea mining is an entirely new area of exploitation, the effects of which are not fully known. “We know less about the deep sea than we know about the surface of the moon,” says environtmentalist Richard Page. “So this is a big experiment.”
Plans to open the world's first mine in the deep ocean have moved significantly closer to becoming reality. A Canadian mining company has finalised an agreement with Papua New Guinea to start digging up an area of seabed.
While economists and geologists worry the world's supply of rare earth metals will soon be outpaced by demand, a team of German geochemists has found a way to easily extract them from the vast deposits lying under the sea.
The world's first deep sea mining robot sits idle on a British factory floor, waiting to claw up high grade copper and gold from the seabed off Papua New Guinea (PNG) - when a wrangle over terms is solved.