The scientists, from the University of Bergen in Norway have decided to send robots 2,500 metres (8,000 feet) down into the waters between Norway and Greenland, to scrutinize the potential mineral resources lying buried in ocean bed.
“It’s totally fair to say that we know much more about the surface of the moon and Mars – mapped by satellites and different devices – than we know about our own planet.” conjectured scientist Thibaut Barreyre.
Automated human submarines and robots are to be used by this international body of scientist to explore the untrodden.
The scientists hope the explorations will reveal why some areas have minerals and others do not, how much is down there and what damage mining them would have on the environment.
A viable new source of rare earths, a group of 17 elements used in the production of smartphone screens, magnets, camera lenses and X-ray machines could be highly lucrative. But it is not that simple, Barreyre said.
“Some of them (waters) are rich in gold, copper, zinc and rare earths. And others have almost none of those. And that’s why it’s very important to us as scientists to understand it,” he said.
The team, which began exploring the area last year, will spend the next five years searching.