Space mining on the agenda

The heads of the world's five biggest space agencies will be discussing the possibility of mining on the moon at this week's International Space Station members meeting.

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The heads of the world’s five biggest space agencies will be discussing the possibility of mining on the moon at this week’s International Space Station members meeting.

The meeting will be held in Quebec, and according to Canadian Business Canada could play a key role in future space mining.

Several countries, including China, have already expressed an interest in mining the moon’s resources and a number of prototype machines already exist.

According to Canadian Business moon mining prototypes, including specially designed drills, are set for testing this year in Hawaii.

The Canadian Space Agency says it is waiting for Federal approval and an increase in interest from other countries before moving forward with more advanced space mining technology.

"When members of the international space community decide to go to the Moon or Mars, the CSA and Canada will be ready to contribute," it said.

The Moon contains reserves of gold, platinum-group elements, and rare earths minerals.

It also contains compounds not readily available on Earth, including Helium-3, a gas that could potentially be used in power generation.

According to Canadian Business drilling for resources on the Moon is not far off, with some predicting the start of the process by the end of the decade.

The prospect of mining in space has long been a topic of speculation by some experts, with asteroids or meteors also potential targets.

Austrian Mining investigated the subject in an in-depth feature last year.

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