Tampa's Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc., which salvages precious metals from shipwrecks, said Thursday it has negotiated contracts with shipowners to recover cargoes valued at more than $230 million based on current commodity prices.
The company received an expression of interest from an "investment group" about providing funding for the plan, Odyssey said in a statement. The recovery from the four 20th Century shipwrecks may begin as early as the second quarter, it said. The company stands to receive 90 percent of the recovered cargoes' net value.
Odyssey is currently salvaging silver from the SS Gairsoppa, a British cargo ship that a German U-boat sunk in 1941 in the North Atlantic. The ship is 15,421 feet below the ocean surface, about 300 miles off the coast of Ireland, and may hold 7 million ounces of silver. Odyssey also plans to recover silver from the SS Mantola, a British ship sunk by a German submarine in 1917.
Lorraine Coffey, a company spokeswoman, declined to comment on the location of the four shipwrecks, their cargoes or the identity of the potential investor.