Hidden in the bottom of the sea, in a dark and mysterious place, are billions and billions of kilos of gold and other useful metals like cobalt or copper. Since this fact was discovered and confirmed by science, some companies have come together to form an organization called Nautilus Minerals, which is organizing a major prospecting operation that should happen in 2014.
Great, right? Not really… The problem is that, according to some experts, this action will have negative consequences to the seabed, an important area for the environment and home of a lot of unstudied animal species. The “cradle of life on Earth”, like Rod Fujita, the director of Research and Development of the Oceans Program at the Environmental Defense Fund, calls it.
Although Nautilus Minerals say that the harmed species will re-establish, according to their study “Environmental Impact Statement”, experts are still reluctant to believe there will be no long-term consequences.
So, why go ahead and mine away? The answer is simple: because the benefits can be huge. An average deep sea mining operation can have an outcome of $20 billion in just 20 years.
A little further along the way, in the next 30 years, the UK’s prime minister, David Cameron, believes that a similar process can generate more than $60 billion. Besides, a project like this could also help countries with less power and funds, like Papua New Guinea.
This African country could have a profit around $140 million! Now it’s a matter of weighing the pros and the cons.