Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
After a search, Li Du signaled Hans to leave. The little bug had reached its limit, and as he continued to explore, he found himself on the top of the reef, which was very dangerous. There were quite a few sea snakes around the reef.
Looking at the sea snakes, Li Du suddenly remembered the scene when he saw a group of snakes near the underground opal mine in Lightning Ridge. Maybe the local legend was true, and there was a relationship between snakes and black opal!
Li Du wondered about the connection between the two. If there were also a lot of snakes on the island, could that mean there was also a gem vein there, especially where the snakes congregated? Why did they gather there? Maybe there were gems in the area, too?
With a series of questions in mind, he got out of the water, took off his diving suit, and changed into dry clothes that Sophie had brought.
“Did you see that? Is that black opal?” asked Hans.
Li Du nodded and said, “Yes, if my eyes are right, you found a natural black opal. I’m guessing there should be an opal vein there.”
Hearing this, Hans got excited and asked, “What does this mean? Dude, we’re rich! We’re going to be rich, right?”
There was no need to hide this information from Hans. After all, Hans was the one who had contacted Li Du after he found black opal, so Li Du said, “If the gem vein exists and can be excavated, of course, we will be rich. But you have to realize the problem, you know? It won’t be easy to dig.”
Hans said, “Who cares? As long as we find the black opal vein, it is the same as owning a hill of gold.”
Li Du felt the same way. It was much harder to find black opal than to mine it. They had found the gem, so that was more than half the battle. All this was done on the premise that he had a little bug for gemstone positioning. Otherwise, seabed mining was just a dream.
He had to tell Hans the truth and said, “Black opal veins are not usually very widespread. I think it is way under the sea, and it will be difficult to mine underwater.”
After a frenzy of excitement, Hans calmed down and finally understood the difficulty of seabed mining. Li Du told him that mining black opal was difficult because it was encased in raw stone, and that it was rare to see such gems exposed.
“First we have to break rocks under the sea, and then we have to bring them on the island and smash them up to search for the gems. We also have to think about the weather and the water temperature. We have to protect the environment. We have to get rid of the snakes. There are a lot of problems.”
Hans was now sad. He sat down and said, “What shall we do?”
Optimism was good, but the problem was not solved. They discussed it. Li Du went on to tell him about the difficulty of digging black opal on the seabed. Black gold abalone was actually out on the rocks, so it was relatively easy to find. Although the price of black opal was high, it was difficult to mine.
Li Du told Hans about the distribution of black opal. Even when it was in a vein, it often required hundreds of cubic meters of ore to find a small piece. It was not hard to mine hundreds of cubic meters of ore on land, but doing so underwater? Conventional crushers couldn’t be used, and diggers and the like were even less likely to be useful.
Seeing the problem, Hans became disenchanted and said, “Forget it, d*mn it. I’ll just look for my black gold abalone.”
“There are many problems, but there are many solutions,” Li Du said. “The most important thing now is to buy this island and occupy these gem mines. As for mining, let’s take it slow,” he added.
This startled Hans. “Buy an island? Man, do you know how much it costs?! How many gems can you get out of this vein? And you have to buy the whole island first?”
Li Du knew that the veins there were very rich, but they would be difficult to develop. “Let’s see what the island is selling for. If we can afford it, we’ll buy it,” said Li Du.
There were many islands in Australia. Island trading was just like real estate trading, but of course, it was more difficult. Since he was planning to buy the island, Li Du had to study the topic and learn all about it.
A number of small islands had been put up for sale in Australia with prices ranging from 5,500 Australian dollars to 130,000,000 Australian dollars. The $5,500 island was about 1,500 square meters in an inland lake. It had a neighbor for sale for $19,000 and also had a small house. The price was so low that many people could buy it for a month’s salary, but hardly anyone actually did.
The $130,000,000 private island was about 250 square kilometers and had luxury villas, swimming pools, docks, and other facilities. Regardless of the price, Li Du was confident just by looking at the transaction information about the islands. There were quite a few people buying islands around the world, such as the actor who played the famous pirate captain, Johnny Depp. In 2005, after filming Pirates of the Caribbean 2, Johnny Depp announced that he and his family had moved to the Bahamas, where the movie had been filmed.
Depp’s private island, named Little Holton, was 45 acres, with six private beaches, a private port, a villa, and backup generators. Access to the island depended on small boats, helicopters, and seaplanes.
One of the most famous private islanders was the world’s master magician, David Copperfield, who spent $65,000,000 on four tiny islands in the southern Bahamas called the Exuma Islands. It was now a vacation spot for the wealthiest and the stars, with a weekly rent of more than $300,000.
Seagull Island belonged to Tasmania’s state government, and the purchase of the island must first be approved by the state government. After that, it must then approved by the land bureau, environmental protection bureau, tax bureau, and even the ministry of defense.
Having carefully studied the policies and procedures for buying islands in Australia, Hans asked, “Do you really want to buy this island? What if there are no gems under it?”
“Then we’ll make this place into a holiday resort. It will be very beautiful to bring your family for the holidays every spring, summer, and fall,” said Li Du easily.
Hans gave a thumbs up and said, “You are amazing, buddy. I don’t have that much money to risk with you, I quit.”
Li Du smiled and said, “No, I will not treat you unfairly. If there is gemstone output here, I will give you a 10% commission every year.”