Mining metals amidst seafloor animals

Quest for valuable minerals heads to ocean bottom, where fragile ecosystems may reside

By Sid Perkins, 23:47 PM February 20, 2014

CHICAGO — The deepest parts of the ocean are one of the planet’s last frontiers. Its ecosystem is Earth’s largest — and one of the least studied. Despite its many unknowns, the seafloor holds incredible promise as a source of many natural resources, including valuable metals. As the scramble for those resources speeds up, scientists are helping to create guidelines and laws that will allow this mining — while still protecting seafloor life.

“We have to balance the need for resources with the n...

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