As demand for rare earths and precious minerals increase amid a drive towards a low-carbon economy, depleting land-based reserves are increasingly boosting the commercial viability and attractiveness of the “last frontier” of deep sea mining.
With growing demand driving the prices for copper, cobalt and lithium, besides others, higher, miners with the “capital might and technological know-how” are being incentivised to explore mineral deposits in the deep seas, particularly as the rich deposits are considered to be in abundant supply and of higher grades than land-based ore.
Previously believed to be too expensive to undertake and difficult to access, seabed mining remained in its infancy, said BMI Research in its latest industry trend analysis. However, Canadian company Nautilus Minera is set to pioneer deep sea mining as it gears up to embark on the first expedition to extract minerals along the coast of Papua New Guinea in 2019.
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