Men extract many minerals from the subsoil. Subsequently, by means of suitable refining techniques, the substances to build products, machines and tools are obtained. Metals are an example of this procedure: iron, copper, aluminium, zinc, cobalt, manganese, titanium, chromium and platinum can be worked easily and have the capacity to transmit electric power. In most of the rocks, the quantity of useful minerals is quite low. Therefore, the extraction is convenient only if the needed mineral has formed a deposit, and is present in a large quantity in a specific area. At the moment, the current situation of metal reserves rises many worries about the future. This is why people are now looking for new deposits.
In fact it was discovered that large quantities of metal minerals are present on sea floors. More precisely, they are “polymetallic nodules”, which are full of manganese and iron, with lower quantities of sodium, calcium, strontium, copper, cobalt, cadmium, nickel and molybdenum. Approximate estimates concluded that sea floors contain a reserve of around 2000 million tons of nodules from which precious metals could be extracted. This particular reserve is 1800 times as high as all mines on emerged land. Also clay, sand (for example silicon sands for glass production) and potassium minerals are extremely abundant.

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