An interesting thought for Entrepeneurs Looking To List a New Idea – Antarctica!

Antarctica: There is no corporate body that governs Antarctica, however, there are assets exploitable in the region including, iron ore, chromium, copper, gold, nickel, platinum and other minerals, and coal and hydrocarbons have been found in small, non-commercial quantities. Exploitation of all mineral resources is banned until 2048 by the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.  An exploration and mining firm focussed on this region of the World will likely be one of the new Frontiers of exploration and listing. With the right team of expertise in sub-zero mining, such as those found in Canada, Sweden, and Russia, exploration into this portion of the world is possible only if done on a Research basis with the idea to exploit after the moratorium is lifted. Although, the staking process and ownership of licenses or exploitation is prohibited, there is an interesting opportunity in the research being part of future ownership rights to the land for exploitation. This likely could be negotiated on a country by country basis of those who claim to have stakes in the region, namely, Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom. South Africa, the United States, Brazil, Russia, Peru, and Spain have all showed various levels of claiming a stake in the continent. Clearly all those interested have large mining and fishery based industries.

To negotiate research rights, with first right of refusal on the claimed land for the exploitation of minerals discovered after the moratorium, could be a worthy process. The data itself would be invaluable in the years to come. Interestingly, there are no Asian Countries claiming stake to the Continent, which would be the primary consumer of the resources found within this region. As one of the windiest continents in the world, the ability to produce electricity via Wind Power is also compelling, the storage of that energy as such as well, possibly via battery technology due to the cold dry nature of the region which would prohibit many of the typical liquid storage methods. In addition, volcanic activities and faults suggest thermal energy as well within this region of the World.

The value to the research community of exploiting natural resources within the coldest climate on earth would be the technology, advancements, and training that would advance the exploration and exploitation in extreme climates of other planets. Interplanetary mining has been discussed as a science fiction topic, but the reality is that Antarctica would be the closest one would get to the experience of mining in a condition similar to the cold desserts of other planets.

Many of the environmental impact discussions would be controlled under a universal environmental agency and law governing the member state territories. Therefore, exploitation would not be without its rules and considerations. It may be 36 years away from this date, but from a prospector’s perspective, it’s an interesting thought.

Written By Ryan Gibson, Futurist

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