Odyssey Marine Exploration Part of New Gold Rush for Ocean's Treasures

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Deposits of precious metals like gold and silver are found near the intersections of the earth's tectonic plates, particularly in the South Pacific, where the company's fully-equipped, 330-foot exploration vessel, the Dorado Discovery, has been searching since August. Today, Dorado is publicly announcing some of their findings for the first time, which include multiple samples with high grades of gold, silver, zinc and lead.

Dorado is not the first company to explore the ocean floor for precious metal deposits, but its executives say that they've got an edge on the competition thanks to their deep ocean expertise.

Somewhere down the road, Gordon said, "the mining operations could well eclipse the shipwreck operations" in value.

"The tools you need to find mining deposits are the same exact tool kit we've built to find colonial-era shipwrecks or shipwrecks that date to the time of Christ ... just small anomalies on the sea floor," said Gordon.

The company says that concentrations of metals in ore from the ocean floor are many times higher than what you'd find on land, meaning there's plenty of money to be made. Their samples indicate a value of some $500 to $1,200 or more per ton, which Dorado believes they can extract from the ocean for less than $150 per ton.

Unlike a mine on dry land, where a giant infrastructure must be built at each site, Dorado's floating mine will be able to travel from deposit to deposit. While the company has yet to begin production mining, Gordon said it could begin within the next five years.

We hope you'll watch today's Conversation for more.

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