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DieChecker

Deep Sea Mining

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http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130201-underwater-mining-gold-precious-metals-oceans-environment/

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.

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.

Does anyone else think this is something that should be regulated before it gets started? What if one of these startup companies just goes out and tears into dozens of these tube worm metropolises?

Sure, if there is minerals in a "dead" area, where there is not thriving living critters, they should be able to mine, but I really wonder if there is any laws about this yet.

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