Mining entrepreneur Julian Malnic, the founder of world’s first deep-sea miner Nautilus Minerals (TSX:NUS), is taking his knowledge and vision to a whole new level, literally. He has joined the board of Deep Space Industries (DSI), a privately-held U.S. company planning to mine asteroids as early as 2016.
The geologist and business leader, also known for launching Direct Nickel (ASX:DIR), an emerging nickel producer with a revolutionary lower cost extraction technology, brings to DSI an invaluable level of experience in “transformatory mineral resource ventures,” the company in a statement.
Malnic joins his fellow board member and Australian mining expert Mark Sonter to provide insight into business and mining policy and practices, as well as the practical, “shovel in the dirt” realities of processing raw mineral materials, DSI added.
The space mining firm is rolling out a multi-stage plan that they hope will lead to near Earth asteroid operations within a decade or so. First, they are launching their “Fireflies,” one-way travellers meant to grab data about potential targets. The next kind of spacecraft to be sent (“DragonFlies”) will capture asteroids for analysis. Their final stage, “Harvestors” will do as the name implies collecting materials for use from nearby asteroids.
Deep Space was the second company to jump into the asteroid mining business. The first, the billionaire-backed firm Planetary Resources, was launched in 2012.