A US-based company is aiming to open up a new mining market, with the extraction of precious metals and rare minerals from asteroids that orbit the earth.
The venture is being bankrolled by two Google billionaires and filmmaker James Cameron, among others.
“The vision of Planetary Resources is to make the resources of space available to humanity both in space and here on Earth, whether it’s propellant from water on asteroids or strategic metals and minerals that are important to promoting and creating a world of abundance here on Earth,” said Peter H. Diamandis, co-founder of Planetary Resources.
It is claimed that a 30-metre long asteroid could hold up to 38 billion euros worth of platinum at today’s prices.
Details of exactly how and when the mining would begin are unclear.
The company plans to start off by developing and selling robotic spacecraft for surveying missions.