Between the devil and the deep blue sea

Efforts to mine the ocean without harming it

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deep blue sea mining
Photo: Aamay

CHARLES GODDARD on THE ECONOMIST – THE WORLD IN 2018 | Dec 2017

“No one imagined deep-sea mining would be easy. But the coming year will help shape the nascent industry even before any mining begins.

The International Seabed Authority (ISA), the UN body overseeing mining in international waters (roughly 65% of the ocean), aims to agree on a mining code that will influence how the industry evolves. The ISA has issued 27 exploration licences, mostly to a handful of member states—Britain, China, India, France, Germany, Japan and Russia—working through sub-contracting companies. No country has yet applied for a full mining licence.

Even as hype around this frontier industry escalates, widespread commercial operations are still years away, if they take off at all. But the mining code will mark a line in the sand.”

Read the full article on The Economist – The World in 2018