BusinessLive, in a feature article posted Saturday, presents a good summary of efforts made thus far to advance ocean mining.
Plans by Nautilus Minerals to explore the ocean floor for polymetallic seafloor massive sulphide deposits have been well reported, but according to BusinessLive, another ocean mining operation, this time for phosphates, is underway off the coast of South Africa and Namibia:
On the same sea bed, miners intend to extract phosphates. It will be the first time in the world that phosphates are taken from the sea, where the heaviest accumulation of phosphorous material is believed to be.
The Sandpiper project being proposed by Namibian Marine Phosphate would extract phosphate, a key ingredient in fertilizer, from the 1.8-billion tonne deposit as early as 2014. BusinessLive quotes project manager David Wellbeloved saying the mine could be operational for an astonishing 200 years.
The project is awaiting environmental permits and Wellbeloved said he believes any ecological impacts from the project can be mitigated.