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Deep Sea Mining?

"Deep sea mining company reveals new gear", Web Link

"Nautilus Minerals believes the future of mining lies at the bottom of the ocean. The Australian-Canadian company on Tuesday revealed some of the remote-controlled vehicles that will be cutting up the ocean floor in search of copper, gold, nickel, and other minerals. They are arguably the first machines of their kind in the world."

"All three machines are around 50 feet long, 15-20 feet wide, and weigh anywhere from 220 to 340 U.S. tons."

"The auxiliary cutter begins the work by grinding down the seafloor to make it level enough for the second piece of equipment, the bulk cutter. That machine grinds the resulting slurry up fine enough for the collection machine to suck it up before it is sent to a ship on the surface."

Interesting stuff to me, anyway.I continue to be amazed at the abilities and capabilities of man, goals and accomplishments. It was all very interesting, until I got to this part: "GE Oil and Gas Houston won the contract for the undersea pump system that will carry the slurry to the ship. Other companies, such as Rolls Royce Marine, Siemens, Konigsberg Maritime, also won contracts for other key pieces of equipment."

"Johnston told CNBC that the ore the company has found on the ocean floor has much higher concentrations of copper, gold and other minerals than what's found on land, and that seafloor mining will do less damage to the environment than "terrestrial" mining."

The part that gives me pause? - "... seafloor mining will do less damage to the environment than "terrestrial" mining." I am a very long way from an expert in this area, but I can't help but think that mining is mining, whether above or below water. With that in mind, are we really to the point that we "need" to disrupt what we don't know enough about and can't see just because we don't know and we can't see it?

Seems like this would be a serious line in the sand for environs, and I can see why. At what point do we stop destroying and taking? In addition, is this really needed?


Comments

This could be environmentally disastrous with deposited silt wiping out life on the sea floor. There wasn't much technical information in the article.


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