Beyond the astounding energy potential of the Marshall Hydrothermal Recovery System is its use as the first practical deep-sea mining system.

What appears to be black smoke exiting the vent is actually a highly concentrated mineral and metal cocktail drawn from the center of the Earth itself. When these materials hit the frigid waters of the deep sea, they precipitate out of the fluid and rain down upon the seabed below.

The materials contained in the vent fluid includes iron, gold, silver, copper, zinc, cadmium, manganese, and sulfur, along with significant amounts of methane gas mixed into the fluid. Halides, sulphates, chromates, molybdates and tungstates are also abundant. For this reason, the best surface mines are located over hydrothermal veins of the geologic past.

When the fluid is trapped, the materials it contains are also brought to the surface through the pipe structure previously discussed. The slurry left over after the heat is extracted can be loaded aboard ships for processing elsewhere, or processed on-site.

All through human history, people have dug, scraped, ripped, and torn at the earth in order to obtain needed materials from it. In the Marshall Hydrothermal Recovery System, the earth for the first time is freely offering her bounty. It is simply gratefully accepted, and the desired minerals and metals are removed from what is given.