David Cameron has pledged to put Britain at the forefront of a new international seabed mining industry, which he claimed could be worth £40bn to the UK economy over the next 30 years.
But the prime minister has chosen an American defence company – Lockheed Martin – to spearhead the drive to collect from the depths of the ocean the copper, nickel and rare earth minerals used in mobile phones and solar panels.

Yes, because Lockheed Martin is well known for their ability to make money without sponging off a government, right?

Russia and China also have licences to "mine" the ocean bed but Cameron said on Thursday: "With our technology, skills, scientific and environmental expertise at the forefront, this demonstrates that the UK is open for business as we compete in the global race."
Speaking at a launch at the Excel Centre in London's Docklands, he said talks were already under way with a potential supply chain of up to 100 British companies, even though the main activity will take place off the west coast of America.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has, in partnership with UK Seabed Resources – a newly formed subsidiary of Lockheed – obtained a licence and contract to explore a 58,000 sq km area of the Pacific Ocean for mineral-rich polymetallic "nodules".
These rocky chunks, the size of a tennis ball, will eventually be scooped up using a seabed harvester and then broken up to release the minerals, if all goes to plan. Lockheed claims to have discovered riches in that particular area off the US coast after a bizarre hunt in the 1970s for a lost Russian submarine paid for by eccentric US billionaire Howard Hughes.

Heh! Gonna vacuum up rocks the size of a tennis ball from 4 miles down! That's gonna make you a lot of money!