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26 years after experimental mining, a seabed ecosystem has yet to recover

In 1989, the largest attempt to model the impacts of a deep-sea mining operation was conducted across 1100 hectares of seafloor in the Peru Basin. The Disturbance and Recolonization Experiment (DISCOL) simulated polymetallic nodule extraction by dragging an 8-meter plough-harrow across a nodule field, creating 78 troughs that mimicked one likely consequence of dragging a […]

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A nodule harvester. Image courtesy DeepGreen.

DeepGreen raises $150 million as it advances towards production

DeepGreen Metals has secured $150 million in funding through a partnership with Allseas Group to launch the mining company’s first large-scale feasibility studies. These trials, slated for completion in 2023, will help pave the way for commercial exploitation of polymetallic nodules in the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone. DeepGreen views polymetallic nodule extraction as an essential step […]

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Diamond mining moves offshore and into the deep.

Of the coast of Namibia, in barely 200 meters of water, an entirely different kind of deep-sea mining is taking shape. The target is neither precious metals, rare earth elements, or the minerals destined to supply next-generation batteries and power cells, but diamonds. The company is De Beers, the world’s largest diamond producer, and they […]

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The Triton 36000/2 Hadal Exploration System. Photo courtesy Triton Submarines.

Privately funded human-occupied vehicle returns from Challenger Deep

For only the third time in history, a human-occupied vehicle made the 11-kilometer journey into Challenger Deep, the deepest point in the ocean, and, more importantly, returned. Its occupant, investor Victor Vescovo, became the fourth person, behind Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard in the Trieste, and James Cameron in the Deepsea Challenger, to reach the […]

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Krypton Ocean: big vision and small steps towards mining the seafloor.

One of the fascinating aspects of the deep-sea mining community is how much history is shared among contractors. Nautilus Minerals, GSR, DeepGreen, and, especially, Lockheed, have expertise among their staff stretching all the way back to the early days of the Glomar Explorer. During our investigation into nodules for sale, we interviewed several people who […]

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International Seabed Authority internship associate legal officer environmental management plans Women and girls in science ISA Releases Stakeholder Submissions to Draft Exploitation Regulations

From the Editor: Following up with Nautilus Minerals and the release of the draft mining code.

The slow decline of Nautilus Minerals continues without much change. I reached out to several contacts both at Nautilus’s corporate offices and to colleagues within Papua New Guinea. Since last month, most of the board of directors and the current CEO have resigned, Nautilus was delisted from the Toronto stock exchange, and previously responsive sources […]

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High-level BBNJ side-event highlights ISA’s commitment to protecting the marine environment over the last 25 years

Press Release UN Permanent Representatives, senior officials as well as many legal and scientific experts attending the Second Session of the Intergovernmental Conference for the conservation and sustainable development of marine diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) in New York this week attended a side-event on Tuesday 26 March dedicated to acknowledging the 25 […]

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Trying to Grasp the Financial Model

The Financial Model, the mechanism by which the ideals built into the founding principles of the ISA—that mineral resources in the high seas are the common heritage of humankind—are manifested in practice, is perhaps the most challenging component of launching any deep-sea mining venture. The financial model is predictive, based on myriad assumptions about what […]

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