Meet the New Breed of Extreme Miners

1 mins. to read
Meet the New Breed of Extreme Miners

If you thought mining was about digging holes in dry ground, and that the technology required to do that was mature, think again. There are new kinds of extreme miners emerging who are taking mining to undreamed-of places. There are miners who are extracting resources from below the ocean waves. There are miners operating in extreme terrestrial environments like Northern Siberia. And then (I kid you not) there are proto-mining companies which aspire to bring back precious metals from the Moon, Mars and the Asteroid Belt.

Their audacity will amaze you. But could these Extreme Miners make you money?

It all used to be so simple

Human beings have been extracting minerals and metals from holes in the ground for many thousands of years. The oldest known mine on archaeological record is the Lion Cave in Swaziland (South Africa) which radiocarbon dating shows to be about 43,000 years old. Flint mines in Southern England and Northern France go back to Neolithic times. Certainly, the ancient Egyptians mined gold from the earliest dynasties.

Since the industrial revolution mining has become one of the world’s major industries, providing resources for modern man’s insatiable appetite for stuff. But, as the economy has evolved in the information age, traditional resources like coal and iron ore have fallen out of favour while demand for strategic metals has soared.

There are three main reasons why mining is getting more challenging. Firstly, some of the most precious resources reside in their highest concentrations in the most inaccessible locations. Second, resources in the most accessible locations have been intensively mined already and many such mines are becoming depleted. Thirdly, advances in mining technology have opened up new possibilities….

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