The Ocean Could Be the New Gold Rush
As the future of seafloor mining is debated this week, here are five things you need to know about the risks and rewards of extracting precious metals and minerals from the ocean.
The bottom of the world's ocean contains vast supplies of precious metals and other resources, including gold, diamonds, and cobalt. Now, as the first deep-sea mining project ramps up, nations are trying to hammer out guidelines to ensure this new "gold rush" doesn't wreck the oceans.
People have dreamed of harvesting riches from the seafloor for decades. A project off Papua New Guinea could begin as early as 2018, serving as a test case for an industry that could be highly lucrative. If it proves successful, it could kick off a boom of deep-sea mining around the world.
In response, representatives of many nations, the mining industry, and environmental groups are meeting this week in Kingston, Jamaica, at an annual