This chapter is about the potential of marine minerals for the deep sea as a supply for future raw materials to be used intensively in electronics, high technology, and green technology. Deep sea mining contributes cobalt, copper, nickel, manganese, some important trace elements like the platinum group elements, and the so-called rare earth elements, but manganese nodules are the most valuable concretions on the sea floor. Black smoker deposits of metallic sulfides that form by hydrothermal fluids emitted from active submarine volcanoes are also sought by people. The hydrothermal activity that occurs along these ridges produces an astonishing amount of energy and temperature and buffer the ocean chemistry. It is unknown how long these sources could satisfy human demand; black smokers could probably supply cooper metal for a few years, but manganese nodules are enormously abundant. Is the use of this new resource sustainable, and is commercial development worth the risk?
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