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tomorrow today | Manganese nodules

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Published on Feb 16, 2009

The seabeds of the worlds oceans are rich in raw materials such as diamonds, rare minerals and manganese nodules. They look like small potatoes but they contain metals such as nickel, cobalt and copper, and small amounts of rare metals like molybdenum, selenium and tellurium, which are used in the construction of electronics components.The hunt to recover the precious metals from the seabed has begun. German geologists recently carried out an extended research project in the Pacific. They wanted to find out how many manganese nodules there are, and where they are scattered. 24 million tons of precious metals are believed to be lying under the worlds oceans. The German geologists are trying to learn whether the nodules could be recovered from the seabed without damaging the environment, and which technology would be best suited to do that. We take a look at their findings.

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