Deep seabed mining: key questions

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A polymetallic nodule. (Image: Nautilus Minerals)
A polymetallic nodule. (Image: Nautilus Minerals)

Jessica Aldred for chinadialogue ocean | 26 February 2019

What is deep sea mining?

It’s the process of retrieving mineral deposits from the deep sea – the area of the ocean below 200 metres. This covers around 65% of the Earth’s surface and harbours a rich diversity of species adapted to the harsh environment – many of which are still unknown to science. It also encompasses unique geological features, including mountain ranges, plateaus, volcanic peaks, canyons, vast abyssal plains and the Mariana Trench, which at almost 11,000 metres is the greatest depth registered in the ocean.

Is mining taking place now?

Shallow water mining for sand, tin and diamonds is already happening around the world, and some deep sea mining has taken place within the territorial waters of certain countries. But deep sea mining in international waters that belong to no one nation – known as The Area – is currently at the exploration stage.

Read the full article here: Deep seabed mining: key questions.