Text Size
Facebook Twitter More...

There in the mud, just waiting to be scooped up, is a natural resource deposit potentially worth billions and billions of dollars. It contains chemical elements needed by automakers, by manufacturers of consumer electronics and by green technology developers—elements for which China currently holds a global near monopoly.

The catch? The mud, which is enriched in the technologically crucial metals known as the rare-earth elements, is beneath thousands of meters of water in the Pacific Ocean. Extracting resources from such depths brings technological, economic and regulatory hurdles, all of which would have to be overcome before deep-sea rare earths become an ingredient in tomorrow's catalytic converters, wind turbines and computer screens. As a result, experts say, it will be many years—if ever—before that seafloor resource is tapped.

To read the rest of the article, click here.
Category: Science