GOLDMAN SACHS, PLATINUM, AND ASTEROID MINING

I am always amazed at the careful and sharp eyes of the readership of this site, especially for their ability to spot the odd detail or turn of phrase that may indicate something significant, and, in this case,  something with profound implications. This is one of those times I have to blog not only about the article, but about the sender's - in this case, "G.L.R.'s" - insight into it. Here's the article:

Goldman Sachs: space-mining for platinum is 'more realistic than perceived'

The article notes that the price of launch vehicles - you know, the noisy chemical rocket kind - has begun to plummet, making the cost of getting up there to "get stuff" is falling accordingly:

The price of spacecraft is plummeting, thanks to reusable rockets from Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin. It used to cost $35 million (£28 million) to send one person up on a Soyuz rocket. Today, Virgin Galactic hopes to get space tourists into space for something like $250,000 (£200,000), Goldman says. More broadly, the price of all new rockets is falling over time:

Rockets Goldman Sachs

Ok, that's nice. Falling rocket prices, tourism, trips to the Moon for vacations. All of this is, of course, couched by Goldman in terms of a "feasibility study":

Nonetheless, Goldman is bullish. "We expect that systems could be built for less than that given trends in the cost of manufacturing spacecraft and improvements in technology. Given the capex of mining operations on Earth, we think that financing a space mission is not outside the realm of possibility."
But, that's not the jaw dropper; the jaw-dropper fuels my - or rather, G.L.R.'s - high octane speculation of the day, with a little parsley and lettuce garnishments thrown in from me. While most of this article reads like the typical bland business-risk-feasibility management study, the opening paragraph is a stunner, there's no other way to put it:
Goldman Sachs is bullish on space mining with "asteroid-grabbing spacecraft." In a 98-page note for clients seen by Business Insider, analyst Noah Poponak and his team argue that platinum mining in space is getting cheaper and easier, and the rewards are becoming greater as time goes by. (Emphasis added)
As G.L.R. put it to me in the email in which the article was shared (and I am citing the exact words here): "Really? I don't recall reading that we actually were mining in space so how can an accurate comparison be done to determine that its cheaper now?"
Uhm... er... yea.
But of course, the opening paragraph of the article are the article's author's words (in this case, the author being Mr. Jim Edwards). So, perhaps were reading too much into it, parsing too closely. But G.L.R. sent along another article about the same Goldman Sachs study, and again, one finds some curious wording by a completely different article author:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/3270708/goldman-sachs-unveils-realistic-plan-to-earn-vast-sums-of-money-by-mining-platinum-from-asteroids/

In the Sun article by Mr. (or Ms.) Jasper Hamill, note the following italicized statement, which I present in context:

"Prospecting probes can likely be built for tens of millions of dollars each and Caltech has suggested an asteroid-grabbing spacecraft could cost $2.6bn."

The bank added: "Space mining could be more realistic than perceived."
(Emphasis added)

More "realistic", or is that simply a euphemism for "more real".

Now, put all this into the context of this week's previous blogs and tidbits about space, including that strange story about "the dark side of the Moon". (See

US MISSILE DEFENSE: RUSSIA, CHINA AND THE MOON

and see this:

CHINA: LET’S GO TO THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON

and what does one have? I've stated all along that with the commercialization of space comes, inevitably, its militarization and weaponization. After all, one has to protect those developing assets from..."whomever". And I've also said, all along, that chemical rockets - cost declines or not - are just a very inefficient means of space travel, much less mining asteroids. And hence, perhaps, what we have here, is an inadvertent, or perhaps deliberate, admission that the mining of celestial bodies is already under way, and by technologies that "don't exist."

There is indeed a financial aspect to this speculation that makes some sense here, for if one has been following the financial news lately, and particularly those stories about Russia and China buying massive amounts of gold (and one assumes, to a lesser extent, silver), and the constant trickle of stories about their plans to move to gold-backed currencies, the USA and other western powers seem all too unperturbed by the news, as if they "knew something", and had their own hidden financial system, and sources of bullion and precious metals. And as I've said before, there is a lot of "missing money" that is completely unaccounted for, and no one seems inclined to look for it. Remember those quadrillions of dollars of "bad paper" on banks' books? How would one offset that? Well, a rich asteroid or two would do the trick.

Perhaps, in order to find the missing money, and the source of the West's seeming financial imperturbability, one would have to look up, to space...

See you on the flip side...

 

19 thoughts on “GOLDMAN SACHS, PLATINUM, AND ASTEROID MINING”

  1. for Gold, don’t forget Borman’s Nazi International Gold and Yashimotos Gold (Gold Warriors by the Seagraves). Only if we fools dance around that Golden Calf though, or Orbit around it.
    Also Rings of Ice by Anthony, Piers had a water asteroid brought back to orbit that decided to melt all at once, Noah Flood syndrome.
    these bastards had the silk road all tied up way back then, precious metals and precious slaves.

  2. Interesting, and to add a little wordplay: the commercialisation of space is the excuse to militarise and weaponise it. Commerce is not only the excuse but also the acceptable pathway to space, one that is instantly agreed by the masses.

    If ‘they’ simply said “we want to militarise and and put weapons into space”, the masses might still have sufficient grey cells to argue against it. But if the economy is taking us there by nature of economic and scientific growth, then there’s no need to question it.

    In conclusion, and judging from all we know here at Giza Deathstar, it seems that ‘they’ are still at war, and we are still ‘their’ pawns to enable ‘their’ war to continue, soon, in space.

    1. Robert Barricklow

      Taking a page from Capone.
      Protection Racket; but…
      Not as profitable as the war racket

  3. I think we live in a solar system much like the one in Niven & Pournelle’s “The Mote in God’s Eye.” The Motie race has had so many rises & falls, flowerings & burnings, that their solar system has been ‘mined out’ of all the easy stuff. The low-hanging fruit is gone. (That might be one reason why our asteroid belt has so little mass ‘left’ in it.) So, there is continual ‘repurposing’ of an opponent’s captured ‘gear’. That would be bad news for Earthly miners, unless all the asteroid-collisions since the last conflict have renewed the grab-able ‘stock’.

    Just like the fighting over ancient ‘relics’ on Earth, I suspect that the ramping-up of space-mining ‘propaganda’ is due to the possibility of finding old ‘gear’ left-over from the last conflict or so. Space-mining will be the cover; the real ‘prize’ will be salvaging the odd starship or two. Expect some savage battles-in-the-sky when someone discovers a ‘juicy’ artifact and someone-else contests that claim…

  4. It is worth noting that there is a huge difference between “going to space” and “going to earth orbit”. One just needs to climb high enough to be in “space”, but to be in orbit requires climbing up there and accelerating to about 25,000 mph to stay in low earth orbit. Roughly 100 times more energy is required to enter orbit compared to just climbing high enough to be in “space”.

  5. No wonder Cold Fusion, which can make platinum, is such a threat.

    Not only would platinum be easy to come by, there’d be no excuse for “mining” asteroids.

  6. Interesting when combined with this week’s TV show Scorpion seeding the public consciousness with the dangers of space mining:
    “Team Scorpion must defy the orders of a foreign government after they retrieve an asteroid from space containing DNA strands that could have deadly consequences once exposed. ”

    Whether you believe in panspermia or not, the potential risk was considered great enough back when Apollo was bringing back moon rocks to have a special bio floor at NASA Ames, to prevent contamination in both directions. Is someone suggesting we shouldn’t forget that?

  7. Trust me if their mining the asteroids they’re not using rockets. Remember remember the Ben Rich rule sixty years ahead technology off the books.

  8. Robert Barricklow

    Shades of The East India Company crossed with the earlier financial vipers of Venice.

  9. Robert Barricklow

    Reminds me of a recent novel I picked up:
    Will Save The Galaxy For Food by Yahtzee Croshaw.
    A Satirical dark space opera comedy.

  10. “There is just one problem: That same asteroid would instantly tank the entire platinum market: “Successful asteroid mining would likely crater the global price of platinum, with a single 500-meter-wide asteroid containing nearly 175X the global output, according to MIT’s Mission 2016.”

    I’ll keep on saying it.. because I like to sound like a broken record.. How can you keep the price value of the commodity in place when you’ve just flooded the market with x billion tonnes..

    Probably the same way you keep the price of Gold up.. Lie about how much you have and how much exists and dont tell anyone when you suddenly find x tonnes of the stuff ‘lying’ in a gold mine.. Let the Chinese for exemple..

  11. Yes, where is all the -QE money going? Simply onto bankster account books? It would take some extensive research to ascertain whether the cost of “ultralite” rockets is REALLY now so cheap and what their capabilities actually are, given the ongoing secrecy of the space industry. But maybe the pricetag doesn’t really matter, and at the cost of keeping millions in poverty, somebody is driving this asteroid or interplanetary grab. To no good end, I would wager.

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