Besides manganese nodules
, two other types of resources have been identified in the Pacific for mineral prospecting and future exploitation: massive sea-floor sulphides and cobaltrich crusts.
The value of the manganese nodules
alone can be as high as PS40,000 per square mile.
They got their start back in the 1970s and 1980s, when it looked as if there were untold riches in manganese nodules
scattered across the ocean floor.
The companies may also look back in history, to the ill-fated attempts to extract manganese nodules
in the 1980s.
Today the agency's silence is called a 'Glomar response,' taking its name from the Hughes Glomar Explorer, a ship built (we now know) to recover a sunken Soviet submarine, but disguised as a private vessel for mining manganese nodules
from the ocean floor.
After three years of graduate studies in theoretical physics, a feasibility study to bring manganese nodules
off the bottom of the ocean led her to Seattle, where she completed a master's degree in computer science.
The greatest interest has been in abyssal manganese nodules
that contain significant amounts of nickel, copper and cobalt.
Thousands of square miles of the sea floor, particularly in the Pacific, are covered by fields of walnut-sized manganese nodules
containing considerable deposits of iron, copper, nickel and cobalt.
"There are great riches in manganese nodules
, cobalt, and nickel.
The region is also believed to be rich in deposits of natural gas and manganese nodules
, which is vital in steel production, as well as in marine resources, she said.