Deep dive to new resources – by Graham Lloyd (The Australian – January 1, 2021)

Gerard Barron wants to secure a battery-powered future — from the sea floor.

In the global race to remake the world for a low emissions future, Gerard Barron just may be Australia’s Elon Musk.

Where Musk is obsessed with electric cars and deep space, Barron is focused on the abyssal plains located 4500m below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

Barron is leading a gathering push to exploit a base metals resource that has been known about a long time but has been too difficult to exploit for political, environmental and logistic reasons.

It is as if nature has assembled the ingredients needed to make batteries — manganese, nickel, cobalt and copper — rolled them into marbles and scattered them across the ocean floor.

Enough polymetallic nodules have been identified in the Pacific Ocean’s Clarion-Clipperton Zone, located between Hawaii and Mexico, to secure the world’s battery-powered future two times over. According to published data, if half of these nodules were collected, the total commercial value would be about $US5 trillion.

For the rest of this article: