Small active volcanoes at Papua-New-Guinea, deep beneath the sea, have thrown precious metals out of the earth. The sea-bottom there contains so much gold and other metals that commercial ventures are being investigated.
The Australian company "Nautilus Minerals" is going to search the bottom before the coast of Papua-New-Guinea. There are minerals that contain much more gold, silver, zinc and copper than ore on land. However, there can be negative consequences for biological life on the sea's bottom when it will be commercially exploited.
The metal-rich sediment is formed by little volcanoes beneath the sea called "black smokers".
There, cold sea-water trickles through the rocky bottom downwards where it is being heated by magma chambers. Then, very hot water (to 350 degrees Celsius) rises. The hot water takes several minerals with it on the way upwards. When these minerals come in touch with the cold sea-water they will precipitate on the sides of the little volcano.
These little volcanoes, looking like chimneys, especially occur at places where tectonic plates or parts of them are sliding/slipping beneath each other. The "black smokers" can be found on either side of mid ocean ridges.
There's a theory, which has been developed during the past years, that the "black smokers" have influenced the origin of life. Life that wasn't driven by sunlight but by the heat of the little volcanoes under water.