Author: Samantha Cole
A 25-ton mining robot prototype broke free of its tethers this week and is just hanging out at 13,000 feet below the Pacific Ocean.
Patina II was roaming the Clarion Clipperton Zone, a 1.7 million square mile section of the ocean from Hawaii to Mexico, and an area of interest to mining companies looking to extract mineral resources. In March, Patania II’s was postponed to address damage to its umbilical cable, which powers the robot and connects it to the boat. The mining robot would collect polymetallic nodules—potato-sized deposits containing precious ores such as manganese, copper, and nickel.
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