Gold Rush To The Deep Seafloor


Deep-Sea News’ 18-month-old reports on the rush to mine the deep oceans is finally making the news. Well, the science news, at least.

Hydrothermal vents have given us many things…. But the fact that seafloor massive sulfides can precipitate a king’s ransom in gold, silver, copper, and zinc was an unexpected boost to the cauldron-like charisma of hydrothermal vent ecosystems. Deep Sea News first started reporting on Vancouver based company Nautilus Minerals’ intention to mine extinct hydrothermal vents in Papua New Guinea back in November of 2005. Big-time scientific weeklies Science and Nature finally caught up to our meticulous coverage of vent mining just this week, reporting on the new gold rush to the deep seafloor.

Deep-Sea News has at least four stories on hydrothermal vent mining. MoJo’s current cover story Gone describes something of the wonders far below. –JULIA WHITTY

  • Julia Whitty is the environmental correspondent for Mother Jones. Her latest book is Deep Blue Home: An Intimate Ecology of Our Wild Ocean. For more of her stories, click here.

Members like you

Mother Jones is a nonprofit, and stories like this are made possible by readers like you. or to help fund independent journalism.