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Thread: Oceanic Mining

  1. #1 Oceanic Mining 
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    Eventually metal ores on the continents will be exhausted. Where can we find more ore?

    Can Giant Robots Successfully Mine the Mile-Deep Seafloor? | Ocean | DISCOVER Magazine


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  3. #2  
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    In our landfills from a century of obsurdly wasteful practices.


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    urban mining should be much cheaper
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    Actually, metals are pretty extensively recycled, and little copper and less gold are to be found in landfills. Researching this question, I found that the US exports of waste paper to China are STAGGERING, over a billion dollars worth. Amazing.
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  6. #5  
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    metals are pretty extensively recycled
    Oh really? How long has that been going on. I'd suggest that all but the most recent, best-managed landfill sites are a bonanza waiting to be exploited.

    But carefully. The dangers are not the same as those of conventional mining, but there are significant safety issues nevertheless.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    metals are pretty extensively recycled
    Oh really? How long has that been going on. I'd suggest that all but the most recent, best-managed landfill sites are a bonanza waiting to be exploited.

    But carefully. The dangers are not the same as those of conventional mining, but there are significant safety issues nevertheless.
    Agreed, mining of any sort is a hazardous business, always has been, quite always possibly will be.

    Looks like about 33% or better recovery rate average in USA:
    Salient U.S. Recycling Statistics For Selected Metals
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    But carefully. The dangers are not the same as those of conventional mining, but there are significant safety issues nevertheless.
    What force leads a man to a life filled with danger
    On the seas or in mines underground?
    It's when need is his master, and poverty's no stranger
    And there's no other work to be found.

    -Irish "Fisherman's Song"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkL4MxFPzs8
    Last edited by Arthur Angler; February 2nd, 2012 at 07:57 PM.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Angler View Post
    Eventually metal ores on the continents will be exhausted.
    you seem to be echoing the Club of Rome from 1972 - what that report forgot is the definition of an ore as being a resource that can be mined economically

    e.g. it is no longer economical to mine tin in Cornwall - however, should the price of tin increase substantially and sustainably, it might be worthwhile re-opening old mines or working old tips
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    A most excellent point. Cornwall and Wales have long mining traditions- many a brave man has gone into the bowels of the earth in those areas never to return. The beauty part of undersea mining is that it would be more feasible to remotely operate the machinery, further from harm's way. The submarine ores are richer than those commonly available on land, according to the source.

    Come to that, don't at least some of the mines in Cornwall go out UNDER the sea a bit?

    No mistake that flooding from whatever source was a common obstacle, which brings us to:

    http://p2pfoundation.net/Open_Innova...nish_Tin_Mines
    Last edited by Arthur Angler; February 3rd, 2012 at 02:36 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Angler View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    metals are pretty extensively recycled
    Oh really? How long has that been going on. I'd suggest that all but the most recent, best-managed landfill sites are a bonanza waiting to be exploited.

    But carefully. The dangers are not the same as those of conventional mining, but there are significant safety issues nevertheless.
    Agreed, mining of any sort is a hazardous business, always has been, quite always possibly will be.

    Looks like about 33% or better recovery rate average in USA:
    Salient U.S. Recycling Statistics For Selected Metals
    Mining is dangerous but so is recycling. Until we required design that factors in recycling ability it will probably remain dangerous. Recapture of only a third of our metals is an embarrassment.

    --

    More towards the thread, do we really think we could safely mine the ocean floor. Given our troubles extracting oil from deep offshore with reasonable assurences of environmental safety, mining seems a long, long ways off.
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  12. #11  
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    There was an item in New Scientist some months back, in their Technology section, about a new kind of robot that is currently under development. It will be kind of earthworm size and shape, and will drill its way underground. It will carry a mini laser and a mini spectroscope and will analyse the rock it moves through.

    Now I do not expect anything like that for some decades. But it is worth not underestimating the power of improving technology. A 'worm robot' could open up mining to new reserves that are stunningly large. Here in New Zealand, we have worked out mines that are, nevertheless, in areas where the rock type implies heaps of new seams that are currently undiscoverable. Sending a few hundred 'worms' even a few metres out in all directions from the mine tunnels could reap major new resources.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Angler View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    metals are pretty extensively recycled
    Oh really? How long has that been going on. I'd suggest that all but the most recent, best-managed landfill sites are a bonanza waiting to be exploited.

    But carefully. The dangers are not the same as those of conventional mining, but there are significant safety issues nevertheless.
    Agreed, mining of any sort is a hazardous business, always has been, quite always possibly will be.

    Looks like about 33% or better recovery rate average in USA:
    Salient U.S. Recycling Statistics For Selected Metals
    Mining is dangerous but so is recycling. Until we required design that factors in recycling ability it will probably remain dangerous. Recapture of only a third of our metals is an embarrassment.

    --

    More towards the thread, do we really think we could safely mine the ocean floor. Given our troubles extracting oil from deep offshore with reasonable assurences of environmental safety, mining seems a long, long ways off.
    Rather depends upon one's definition of "safety", doesn't it? Still, recycling seems the more immediate prospect, so much so that I for one consider the waste stream a "terrestrial ore" for purposes of the discussion. Obviously these materials will be easier to acquire, transport, and reprocess, as a general rule. Strip mining underwater for minerals and the ecological consequences of same are discussed at greater length in the article cited in the initial post far better than I can recount here, but it seems that people would be less sentimental about crustaceans and mulloscs than cute little furry animals.

    One advantage of underwater mining as a fringe benefit of sorts would be training on remotely operated mining equipment as we might on the Moon.
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