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Sea-floor massive sulfide deposits represent a new type of base and precious metal resources that may be exploited by future deep-sea mining operations. These deposits occur in diverse tectonic environments and are mostly located along the global mid-ocean ridge system within international waters and arc-related settings within the exclusive economic zones of the world’s oceans. Much controversy is currently centered on the question whether sea-floor massive sulfide deposits represent a significant resource of metals that could be exploited to meet the metal demand of modern technology-based society.

Chemical analysis of sulfide samples from sea-floor hydrothermal vent sites worldwide shows...

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