Archives

Cobalt-rich Crusts collected from the Tropic Seamount. Photo courtesy NERC.

A Primer on Cobalt-rich Crusts

Scattered throughout the ocean are thick, metal-rich crusts that grow slowly on the exposed sides of seamounts. Among the three major ore types that are the predominant focus of deep-sea mining, these cobalt-rich crusts have received the least attention. While polymetallic nodules have occupied the deep-sea mining community’s collective imagination since the genesis of the […]

Read More

A watershed summer for electric vehicles

Electric vehicles made a huge splash this summer, with nearly every major car manufacturer announcing a new line of all-electric, hybrid, or plug-in hybrid vehicles. Battery manufacturers announced huge leaps in production. And major shipping companies declared new commitments to electrifying their fleets while nations set ambitious targets for transitioning away from internal combustion engines.  […]

Read More

“We need to make choices based on evidence”: an interview with GSR managing director Kris Van Nijen

Maria Bolevich for DSM Observer Global Sea Mineral Resources (GSR) is founded by Deme Group, a world leader in dredging, marine engineering and environmental remediation. In 2013, GSR and the International Seabed Authority entered into a 15-year contract for the exploration for polymetallic nodules in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone. Kris Van Nijen, the managing director of GSR, […]

Read More
DOSI delegation, including Guilhon and Cambronero, at the ISA.

Deep-sea mining and the future: Students share their experience as first-time observers at the ISA

Being deep-sea scientists is all about wandering into the unknown, strongly driven by our research motivations. Some people say that life is all about opportunities, and for us the opportunity to attend the Council meeting at 2nd part of the ISA Annual Session was one of those life changing experiences, a reinforcement of our passion […]

Read More

A big-hearted iron snail is the first deep-sea species to be declared endangered due to seabed mining.

In 2001, on an expedition to hydrothermal vent fields in the Indian Ocean, researchers made a bizarre discovery. Clustered in small aggregations around the base of a black smoker was an unusual snail, seemingly clad in a suit of armor. Rather than a single, hard, calcareous structure, the snail’s operculum was covered in a series […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More
Delegates for the Development of Standards & Guidelines Multi-stakeholder Workshop. Photo courtesy ISA.

Setting the Standard: Progress on the development of Standards and Guidelines for the ISA Mining Code

In the impressive Department of International Relations and Cooperation in Pretoria, over 80 national delegates, members of the International Seabed Authority Secretariat, contractors, industry professionals, NGO representatives and academics, covering a wide range of skills and expertise, gathered last week. They were tasked with not only prioritizing the list of Standards and Guidelines to support […]

Read More

Negotiations continue for Biodiversity Protection in the High Seas

From March 25th to April 5th, hundreds of delegates gathered at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan to continue work on one of the most consequential ocean-based treaty negotiations in recent memory. It was the second of four planned intergovernmental conference sessions to establish a new, legally binding instrument for the conservation and sustainable use […]

Read More
A strange spoon worm, an elegant sea pen, a stalked crinoid, and two xenophyophores with brittle stars. Credit: Mountains in the Sea 2004. NOAA Office of Ocean

All in the same boat: negotiations for biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction begin

Harriet Harden-Davies | 15 November 2018 “This is a chance to take a course correction while we still can…if we pull together, we can make it”. Rena Lee, president­­ of the intergovernmental conference—fondly referred to as Madame Captain—set an ambitious, positive and suitably nautical tone to open historic negotiations on 4 September 2018 at the […]

Read More