The asteroid-mining venture backed by Google's chief executive Larry Page and chairman Eric Schmidt has a new list of billionaire investors and is nearing an agreement with a mining company, according to reports.
Planetary Resources Inc., the asteroid-mining outfit, announced it is adding more billionaire investors and nearing a agreement with a "top-10” mining company, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported. The Seattle-based company plans to mine platinum group metals and other minerals with robotic technology.
“If their step-by-step roadmap goes to plan, I think it could be quite promising in the longer term,” Ben Taylor, a research fellow in the planetary environments team at the University of Surrey in Guildford, England, told Bloomberg Businessweek. “We can identify the minerals on the asteroids from orbital surveying, but it becomes a question of whether it’s still going to be cheaper to extract the very small amount that’s on earth compared to the cost of extraction on an asteroid.”
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While the company has enough money for several years of mining, it would need to go public if it plans on any future financing. With Page. Schmidt and other billionaires on board, the mining outfit could have some geek cachet.
Don't believe it? Planetary Resources plans on using water-rich asteroids, places that could later be used for refueling stations for future "space adventures," according to Anderson. How could any self-respecting techie not invest in that?