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Space & Astronomy

Asteroid mining could be worth trillions

By T.K. Randall
April 22, 2018 · Comment icon 7 comments

There's a vast amount of money to be made in space. Image Credit: NASA/Denise Watt
According to Goldman Sachs, asteroid mining has the potential to produce the world's first trillionaires.
The asteroids that pass us by on a regular basis might not seem particularly valuable, but inside many of these spacefaring rocks there lies a fortune in gold, platinum and other minerals that could actually make space mining an extremely viable commercial venture.

Last year, investment banking firm Goldman Sachs published a 98-page report advocating asteroid mining as a potentially lucrative money-making opportunity for those willing to make the investment.

"While the psychological barrier to mining asteroids is high, the actual financial and technological barriers are far lower," wrote aerospace and materials analyst Noah Poponak.
"Prospecting probes can likely be built for tens of millions of dollars each and Caltech has suggested an asteroid-grabbing spacecraft could cost $2.6 billion."

Professor Michio Kaku has also commented on the opportunities of asteroid mining, noting that asteroids are essentially "a flying gold mine in outer space" filled with valuable resources.

Given that a single 3,000ft asteroid could contain as much as $5.4 trillion worth of platinum, anyone who succeeds in tapping in to this plentiful new resource could become very wealthy indeed.

We may even see an asteroid 'gold rush' take place within the not-too-distant future.

Source: Inquisitr.com | Comments (7)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Sundew 6 years ago
I have to wonder, if meteorites are just smaller versions of asteroids, that is, chucks of asteroids that fragmented early in the Earth's history, it would seem that they would have a similar composition. I remember in my school days there were generally two type of meteorite: stoney and iron. Now iron has value, plain rock, not so much and even iron has relatively little value compared to aluminum, copper and certainly precious metals. And I don't recall hearing of any of gold, platinum, or other rare metals that have been found in meteorites. I do recall they have more Iridium than earth ... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by Jon the frog 6 years ago
Mining in space to build stuff in space, fuelstation, spaceship or outpost can have a big value for Human exploration. Bringing back stuff.... not sure about it.
Comment icon #3 Posted by and then 6 years ago
I hadn't considered that aspect of their value.  In fact, I thought that if precious metals could be found in abundance in space, the law of supply and demand would actually drive the values down.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 6 years ago
That is probably what is going to happen. We have seen it time and time again. As an example gold is valuable because it is rare, if it becomes common it will be a lot less valuable. Once upon a time aluminium was more valuable than gold, but then we developed cheaper ways to make it and today it is a very common material. Supply and demand indeed.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 6 years ago
There are two components to demand and supply. The assumption that increased supply forces prices down is only correct if demand is stable. Your example of gold is a prime example of the over simplification in your logic. Gold is increasingly used in electronics, the computer or mobile phone you are reading this post on will contain gold. As demand for electronics increases so does the demand for gold, forcing the price up and making asteroid mining for it ever more economically viable.
Comment icon #6 Posted by paperdyer 6 years ago
Supply and demand only works in a completely free market with everyone playing by the same rules.  As you said Waspie, the demand needs to be stable.  As long as the supply can be controlled by Buying lithium mines and shutting them down to create a shortage, as the Chinese did when they purchased a lithium mine in Australia and then closed it. I'm not saying that wasn't a shrewd business move, just manipulating the market due to demand.  The best thing that could happen would be to find lithium carbonate on an asteroid and mine it and send the carbonate down to be processed into lithium h... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 6 years ago
Its one of those cases where I really hope I'm wrong. 


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