Odyssey Marine Exploration said Monday it has discovered its second sunken ship this year under a contract with the United Kingdom — this one carrying silver currently valued at more than $19 million.
The Tampa treasure hunting company found the shipwreck of the SS Mantola — a World War I vessel that sank after a German torpedo struck it in 1917 — about 100 miles from the SS Gairsoppa in the North Atlantic, 300 miles off the coast of Galway, Ireland.
The Mantola was transporting 600,000 ounces of silver when it sank. Under the contract with the United Kingdom, Odyssey will keep 80 percent of the treasure it retrieves.
Because of weather conditions, Odyssey plans to begin recovery efforts in spring 2012 for both the Mantola and Gairsoppa.
Successful recovery of the silver from the ships at the bottom of the Atlantic would bolster Odyssey after the company lost its second round in the federal courts over a $500 million find off the cost of Portugal. The Kingdom of Spain claims rights to that treasure because the vessel, Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, belonged to Spain.
Odyssey is appealing the court decision, but the company's stock suffered after the federal court ruled that the treasure of gold and silver coins should be returned to Spain.
Monday morning, Odyssey's stock was up 6 cents to $2.69.