Seafloor Mineral Exploration: The New Gold Rush

Managing Editor’s Note: We’re just days away from the start of this year’s Irrational Economic Summit in Nashville. Mark Gordon, CEO and President of the marine exploration company Odyssey will be speaking on Friday, October 13, at 11:10 a.m. Today, we give you a sneak preview. Enjoy.

By Mark Gordon, Odyssey CEO and President:

In the early parts of the 20th-century, people started to realize that there were likely huge oil deposits under the seafloor. So, pioneers began offshore oil extraction in the late 1950s thanks to developments in technology that made operations as economically feasible as land-based mining.

In the decades following, offshore oil drilling became the primary supply to satisfy worldwide demand for this vital resource.

The same industry formation is quietly underway in a similar resource arena: offshore mineral deposits.

Over the past 2,000 years, mankind has nearly exhausted the mineral resources available to mine on the 30% of earth’s surface that’s dry. As the worldwide population continues to grow exponentially, it’s crucial to explore alternative methods of extraction of these much-needed resources. After all, they’re vital to building societies’ infrastructure and feeding the population.

Deep below the ocean’s surface lies billions of dollars’ worth of gold, copper, zinc, phosphate, and other precious commodities.

Thankfully, now these valuable assets are readily findable and accessible through robotic technology that allows us to extract these deep-ocean mineral resources in an economical and environmentally sensitive way.

At present, only a handful of companies are poised to take advantage of the abundant mineral resources found in the deep ocean. Nautilus, Deep Green Resources, Lockheed Martin, and us at Odyssey Marine Exploration.

The technology we have today for offshore mineral mining is far superior and more cost-effective than anything we had before. And we’re simply adapting existing technology faster, accelerating the attractiveness of seafloor mining. The same methods used in ocean dredging for many decades are already applied globally in seafloor aggregate and diamond mining.

It’s exhilarating and promises to be very lucrative!

There are many benefits of seafloor mining over terrestrial mining…

Mining ships can move to different types of deposits or sites to suit market conditions without infrastructure loss or additional capital costs.

Once on site, there’s usually less overburden to remove on seafloor deposits compared to similar terrestrial mines, saving both time and money.

Finally, water is the most efficient, lowest-friction medium and least costly for mining and shipping ore.

Another key advantage to offshore mineral exploration is that it’s accomplished without disruption to nearby population since there’s no need to displace people or animals during operations.

Besides, offshore mineral extraction is not only more economical, it also leaves a lower carbon footprint compared to most terrestrial based mining operations.

So where’s the potential?

Seafloor massive sulfide (SMS), phosphorite, and polymetallic/manganese nodule resources in water depths ranging from shallow (<100 meters) to over 6,000 meters currently offer the most economic potential.

At the Irrational Economic Summit next week I’ll share details about how we pivoted our shipwreck exploration business in the face of massive adversity to be in a position to take advantage of the emerging opportunity presented by offshore minerals and I hope to impart a lesson on how you can pivot to success as well!

For now, know this: An investment in ExxonMobil in 1980 would yield a 2,134% return today as the offshore oil and gas industry continues to boom due to the constant advancements in technology that allow rigs to drill deeper and cover larger portions of area quicker.

Offshore mineral resource exploration is in the pioneering stages now, offering an interesting and attractive opportunity for investors looking to capitalize on an industry that is on the cusp of a major breakthrough.

Mark Gordon
CEO & President
Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.

 

Note: This article originally appeared at Economy & Markets Daily.

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Category: Breaking News

About the Author

In Economy & Markets Daily, the Dent Research team, featuring editors Harry Dent and Rodney Johnson use the power of demographic trends and consumer spending patterns to accurately identify economic booms and busts well ahead of the mainstream. Harry & Rodney believe demography is destiny. It is the future that has already been written. You just need to know how to read it.

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  1. Riley doing says:

    Interesting

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