Nautilus Minerals setup over 12 years ago with the goal of deep-sea mining. They built giant robotics machines and systems to mine metals such as gold, zinc and copper from the bottom of the ocean. They wanted to Nautilus’s big machines to carve and crush underwater volcanoes to get at metals.
They only have two big shareholders left: MB Holding, an Omani conglomerate, and Metalloinvest, a Russian steel and mining firm.
Unfortunately, they are running out of money. $350 million is required to get mining operating.
A Chinese shipyard was paid to make a customized mining ship for Nautilus. Nautilus had paid an Emirate based company, but they went out of business in 2017. The shipyard said Nautilus could step in if they could make a payment. Nautilus had no cash so the ship ended up going to an Indian company that also wants to mine the deep sea.
Nautilus used $17 million of a $34 million credit line that MB Holding and Metalloinvest extended to it in January in exchange for the rights to purchase more shares. It seems that the Omani and Russian interests will take over when Nautilus cannot pay back the loan.
Key executives have left and some have made another deep-sea mining company. They and other competing deep-sea mining companies are going after round metal nodules. Softball size metal balls that form and just are lying around in certain spots on the ocean floor. A simpler and cheaper vacuum system can scoop up the nodules.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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