The future of deep seabed mining

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A crustacean looking out from within a deep sea octocoral, 1,150m beneath the Gulf of Mexico. (Image: NOAA)
A crustacean looking out from within a deep sea octocoral, 1,150m beneath the Gulf of Mexico. (Image: NOAA)

Jessica Aldred for chinadialogue ocean | 24 February 2019

It’s one of the coldest, darkest places on earth, full of marine life – much of which is yet to be discovered – with a seabed rich in mineral deposits.

In the last decade, the floor of the deep ocean that lies outside the jurisdiction of any one country has been increasingly explored. A number of parties are assessing the size and extent of mineral deposits that could provide raw materials for everything from batteries and jet engines to wind turbines and mobile phones.

Some deep seabed mining has already taken place within countries’ waters: Japan in 2017, and in Papua New Guinea where the controversial Solwara 1 mining project has ground to a halt. But this year will see a critical global debate on how to manage the resources that lie in “the area” – international waters of more than 200 metres deep that cover nearly two-thirds of the earth.

Read the full article here: The future of deep seabed mining.