Scientists for the U.S. Geological Survey have recovered fist-size nuggets of valuable metallic sulfide from the ocean floor off Northern California. The S.P. Lee, a government research vessel, found the nuggets in 11,000 feet of water last week while exploring the Gorda Ridge, about 170 miles off the Northern California coast, a survey announcement said. “We have to wait for further studies to determine the extent and quality of the deposits,” Interior Secretary Don Hodel said in a news release. Hodel said the discovery of the metals was within the 200-mile zone over which the United States claims exclusive economic rights. The Gorda Ridge is an underwater mountain range paralleling the Northern California and Oregon coast. Hodel said the Interior Department will be working with California and Oregon officials to consider the issues raised by the discovery.