Could we harvest metals from the Earth's core?

11 September 2011

Question

Hi, Is there any way in the near future we could harvest the iron and nickel in Earth's core? Thanks, Craig

Answer

Dave - It does seem like a nice idea, especially because of all that gold which is apparently down there. I think practically, the answer is no. It's an awfully long way down to the Earth's core and building a tunnel down there, even if you could be bothered to dig the tunnel for 2,000 kilometres or whatever it is, you would then have to support the sides of it. The pressures down there are absolutely immense and ridiculously high even if you ignore the fact that it's about 6,000 degrees centigrade. It's just not going to be practical. It would be far easier to go up and find some asteroids for the gold in them up in space.

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