Deep Sea Mining – The Mineral Bonanza 0.72 Leagues Under The Sea
In 1959, John L. Mero of the Institute of Marine Resources at Berkeley published a 96-page document entitled "A Preliminary Report on the Economics of Mining and Processing Deep-sea Manganese Nodules". In this landmark study, he discussed the geological and economic aspects of mining the seabed for polymetallicnodules found often partly or completely buried in seabed sediment.
In the 19 years between 1965 and 1984, it is estimated that as much as $650 million was pumped into deep sea mining space. Unfortunately, vaulting ambition was not met by technological prowess and most of this investment had sunk without a trace within the space of two decades.
By the mid 1980s it seemed that the dreams of easy riches scooped and scraped from million year old deposits on the sea bottom had receded back to pages of science fiction from whence they came. In this article we track what happened next and why.....