Perspectives On The Future Supply Of Metal From The Oceans

Malnic, Julian
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 2
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2008
The nascent marine mining sector appears to be now at a point of critical mass with the prospect of mining seafloor massive sulphide deposits at some time in the coming few years an inevitability. Julian Malnic makes comments from his experience base as an entrepreneur and founder of Nautilus Minerals Inc. in 1995 and will speak from an independent viewpoint of the commercial setting of the status quo of the proto-industry and the major factors likely to have major influence over its future. The presentation questions these factors and the role they will play. Do we need metals from the oceans? Understanding the competing and established terrestrial sources of each commodity is essential in comprehending how a marine competitor can profit. What are the rates of discovery for marine minerals? At what point will marine explorers start to impact the terrestrial copper and zinc exploration sector? The advance of technology is important in finding, imaging and mining SMS deposits, but which new technologies offer the advantage to mining in the ocean and which to mining on the land? Several competitors have now joined Nautilus as competitors to this global pioneer of SMS exploration/production. The membership of the major miners in the marine sector is growing steadily with important relationships developing but many have not put a toe in the water yet. A path of increasing width is opening to commercialization of SMS miners but crusts and nodules, as bearers of copper ? also found in SMS, and nickel ? also found in widespread nickel laterite deposits on land, are unlikely, in this perspective, to be winners this century unless highly valued minor metals are targeted.
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