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A 3-decade-long disturbance study on the deep abyssal plain.

In the late 1980s, as the first wave of deep-sea mining exploration approached a decade of hibernation, researchers launched an ambitious experiment to understand the long-term environmental impact of harvesting polymetallic nodules from the abyssal plain. The Disturbance and recolonization experiment in a manganese nodule area of the deep South Pacific (DISCOL) remains the most […]

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With TOML acquisition, DeepGreen expands its footprint across the Pacific

Last week DeepGreen announced that it had finalized the acquisition of Tonga Offshore Mining Limited, a subsidiary of the former Nautilus Minerals, from Deep Sea Mining Finance, who is overseeing Nautilus’s restructuring. Outside of Solwara I, TOML was one of Nautilus’s most valuable holdings, and though the acquisition price has not been revealed, it will […]

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The Great Deep Ocean Migration

In the early days of exploration, the deep-sea was thought to be largely devoid of life, a vast empty plain of mud wrapped around the world, too deep for living organisms to survive. But the more humans explore, the more life we discover in increasingly unexpected places, from the boiling water of hydrothermal vents, to […]

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As deep-sea mining inches towards production, a global pandemic brings negotiations to a halt.

When the first part of 26th Session of the International Seabed Authority convened last month, there was a new stakeholder impacting the pace of deliberations. COVID-19 had just begun to spread beyond China and nations across the world were limiting travel in the hopes of containing the outbreak. With Jamaica imposing a 14-day quarantine on […]

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What do people talk about when they talk about Deep-sea Mining?

While negotiations rage within the halls of the International Seabed Authority over the draft mining code, the operationalization of the enterprise, and the development of the financial model, a second conversation is happening, distributed across the internet and engaging an entirely different cohort of stakeholders. Deep-sea mining attracts a passionate collection of activists, technologists, policy […]

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Negotiations continue over the Financial Model

Though it seems closer than ever, deep-sea mining has always been driven in part by an abundance of optimism. In his 1974 treatise on The Control of the Sea-Bed, Evan Luard estimated that the pace of exploration and technological development for polymetallic nodule extraction was such that “it will therefore probably only take a few […]

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Seasteading provides an illuminating look at interpretation of law on the high seas

There is a vast chasm between the reality of maritime law, formed by generations of treaties negotiated at the highest levels of government in the often inscrutably complex language of international diplomacy, and the common belief within civil society that areas beyond national jurisdiction are essentially lawless. Nowhere is this gulf more apparent than within […]

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