Easily Bank Extraterrestrial Profits, Part III
At the end of yesterday’s article, I told you how Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) may be the best candidate to pair up with Planetary Resources, Inc. in the mission to mine near-earth asteroids. And for good reason…
According to the Wall Street Journal:
“Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), one of world’s largest makers of mining equipment, has already joined with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to design space-mining gear. “We looked at autonomous operations of equipment as being the same type of technology that could be used on the moon as well as in a mining application,” said Michele Blubaugh, manager of Intelligence Technology Services at Caterpillar.”
At the very end of today’s article, I’ll tell you about a much smaller mining company with astounding growth potential that’s riding some of the same trends as the Space Rush. But as I promised, you’ll first find out how Planetary Resources, Inc. plans to tap extraterrestrial “gold mines”.
Within two years and for a few million dollars, the company will launch somewhere between two and five space-based telescopes to identify asteroids worth mining.
Within three to five years after that and for $25-$30 million, they hope to send out a small swarm of robotic spacecraft to map these rich resource veins.
The next phase is the toughest: robotic space crafts will remotely mine and possibly refine ore on site, then returning the material back to earth. Plans for this phase haven’t been released yet, though course of action might be to nudge the rocks back to Earth… effectively having a small second moon for easy access.
As I’ve said before, when you consider where most earth metals came from in the first place, the idea makes a lot more sense. Gold in your wedding ring, platinum in your car’s catalytic converter, or the tungsten in strings you hear vibrating from musical instruments… for much of these you can thank the meteorites that pummeled Earth about four billion years ago.
Planetary Resources Inc. plans to go after the platinum group metals, which include platinum, palladium, osmium, and iridium… highly valuable materials throughout the tech and medical industries.
Platinum is nearly the same value as gold. A half-mile-diameter asteroid that could yield around 130 tons of platinum would be worth roughly $6 billion. Just one could yield more platinum than has been mined in all the earth’s history.
Whether this is necessary or not is subject to a lot of debate, but it is generally agreed upon that this would enable the company’s missions to pay for themselves using the resources they recover.
Needless to say, getting even one of these asteroids back to earth would certainly cause an immediate influx in the global supply, therefore causing the commodity’s price to spiral downwards.
In fact, we’ve seen this before in history…
When the Spanish brought back gold from their conquests throughout the New World, they thought they were all going to get rich. The exact opposite happened. There was effectively “inflation” in the gold supply and its value plummeted, nearly bankrupting the Spanish monarchy.
But, amazingly, Planetary Resources sees a platinum price drop as one of its potential goals.
“I would be overjoyed as a company if we brought back so much platinum that the price fell by a factor of 20 or 50,” said Eric C. Anderson, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Planetary Resources Inc.
It’s not for the sake of options trading, which is another interesting idea.
Take the case of aluminum. It was incredibly valuable in the 1800s, more so than gold. Then a new technology came along that allowed aluminum to be easily separated from its ore.
Today, it’s used in hundreds of applications. And it’s dirt-cheap compared to gold.
That’s precisely what the company has in mind for the platinum-group metals.
If they pull it off, it will shift the balance of wealth around the world… altering the state of all your precious metal and mining investments, the value of currencies, and more.
But we’re still a few years away from this dramatic shift, despite the eagerness of Planetary Resources, Inc.’s super-star team of entrepreneurs. But there is something more immediate that I think you should know about…
You see, the case of aluminum is a very important example. It shows that every few hundred years, new methods of science can manipulate certain metals, and change their market performance … forever.
Unlike Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), the big company with the high share price that I told you about above, there is another company that’s changing a metal that’s probably sitting in front of your computer right now.
Scientists have made it 200 times stronger than structural steel, and extremely lightweight.
I strongly believe that it will play a role in helping the Space Industry achieve its lofty goals, and disrupt a variety of industries in the process. Right now, shares can be had for less than a dollar. Click here to find out what it is and how it could profoundly change the society we live in.
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