Let Us Know if You Spot any Aliens Down There…

By Stephen Cass | May 22, 2008 1:03 pm

rovIn the alien first-encounter movie The Abyss, most of the action takes places on a semi-mobile drilling platform called The Benthic Explorer, located many fathoms beneath the sea’s surface. Now mining the ocean floor is closer to reality , thanks to the efforts of Nautilus Minerals (alas, still no word on any aquatic alien colonies).

Nautilus plans to mine copper, zinc, gold and silver deposits off the coast of Papua New Guinea. The deposits have to be brought up from a sea floor that is under a mile of water. Sadly, the company has no plans to employ a gruff-yet-photogenic crew of oddballs to work down below—the company plans to use a remotely operated robot to do the heavy lifting.


Comments (5)

  1. PNG

    Nautilus is not taking into account any of the local people’s feelings on undersea mining. In a country as badly regulated as Papua New Guinea other sources of investment are much more necessary than starting an unvetted mining process underwater. This is a bad idea.

  2. Nautilus Minerals is mining valuable ore deposits. Using early United
    States gold mining as an example, the new wealth created benefited many and spurred accelerated progress. Any industrial endeavor contributes both positive and negative effects to environments and peoples. Even building homes consumes resources and land that could be used for other perhaps more lucrative results, but the resulting benefits certainly are acceptable as an overall good thing.

    Sea floor mining can be a boost to our global economy as a new industry adds jobs, technological advances, ancillary support industries, and actual new wealth. I perused documents where PNG regulates and approves these operations in territorial waters. Perhaps not immediately, but as history shows, development in other areas follows new wealth.

  3. dan kahn

    Actually, in the movie, the “Benthic Explorer” was the surface support ship and the drilling platform was named “Deepcore II.”

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