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"The Chinese are hoping to recover valuable metals such as copper, nickel and cobalt – used in mobile phones, laptops and batteries – as well as gold and silver, in an area of currently inactive "hydrothermal vents", underwater geysers driven by volcanic activity."

Mining the seabed, thousands of feet below the surface of the ocean, is man's next move - in the search for materials for cell phones, automobile dashboards, countless other consumer products.

If one stands back and looks at the ways of the world, deep water seabed mining is an unstoppable series of events on our horizon.

Planning and technologies have been under development and heavily invested in for a long time.

A Canadian/multinational company Nautilus Minerals is well ahead of what China is planning, ready to go in Papua New Guinea. And the inevitability of seabed mining can be seen in its own literature :

"Nautilus Minerals estimates in a September 2009 corporate presentation that "thousands of underwater sulphide systems exist," and "if only half of underwater systems are geographically viable, seafloor production would represent several billion tons of copper per annum[our bold]."

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has an excellent look at the Nautilus Project, here, and The Independent details China's mining plan in the south west Indian Ocean here.

And so begins a new era in resource exploitation.

The still-continuing BP oil gusher comes to mind of course, and so does Global Fracking - wherin a new drilling resource technology is managing to poison the drinking water of millions of people all over the world.

Deep water seabed mining will happen. What is in question is how cautiously will it be done? How transparently? And what will happen after?

And do we want progressives or conservatives in charge when those questions are all decided?

cross posted at

Originally posted to worldforallpeopleorg on Fri Jul 02, 2010 at 10:26 AM PDT.

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