Submarine gold mine – a whole new level


When some conventional mines are about to run out of resources, gold mining companies and geology experts sizzle their brains to widen the horizons of gold mining and satisfy the big appetite for gold worldwide.

Keep an eye on further developments to be announced by Global InterGold!

In May 2014, a new project was given the green light in Papua New Guinea. The project has been started and proposed by Nautilus Minerals, a Canadian company, and consists of the extraction of gold and copper, among other metals.

What is striking about this gold mine? The extraction will be carried out 1,500 meters deep... under the sea. According to the explorations in Papua New Guinea's sea, there are warm and acid water currents mixed with colder sea water, which produces gold and copper deposits richer than on surface. The length of the mine equals nearly 10 football stadiums.

According to Francisco Javier Gonzalez, mineral resources expert in the Geological and Mining Institute of Spain, “earth's minerals resources are depleting and there are great resources under the sea. As with oil and gas extraction in South Africa and Namibia, now it is mineral's turn.”

In this first submarine gold mine, the company expects to obtain more than 120,000 tons of copper and 8,000 kilos of gold. Quite literally, this is a ground-breaking development and as such, it has given rise to controversy. Several groups of ecologists have claimed the damage in the sea will most likely be irrevocable for every sea animal and plant. Deep ocean hasn't been explored yet, and therefore it is yet unknown the impact it could have in biosphere.

Nautilus answered that gold mining will be carried out without damaging the ecosystem and, as the activities will start probably in 2017 and there is time for more explorations. The dimensions of the project are enormous given the technologies leveraged – three robotic machines connected to a vessel platform where metals will be separated from the water.

International Seabed Authority (ISA) provided 19 licenses for the project. According to the Secretary-General of the institution “this innovative project is a very interesting opportunity to check the environment impact”.

Keep track of the latest news first hand from Global InterGold!

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