Commentary: Can the invocation of the ‘two-year rule’ at the International Seabed Authority be challenged?

Pradeep A. Singh for the Deep-sea Mining Observer [1] In late June 2021, some three months ago now, the Republic of Nauru invoked section 1(15) of the 1994 Agreement Relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (hereinafter ‘section 1(15)’), which houses the ‘two-year rule’ or […]

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Opinion: ISA rushes forward

Opinion by Andrew Thaler, DSMO Editor-in-Chief The International Seabed Authority published their provisional roadmap for the next two years of international negotiations, optimistically culminating with the approval of the Mining Code for polymetallic nodules in areas beyond national jurisdiction. This ambitious goal depends upon the ability to resume ISA sessions in Kingston, a scenario that […]

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IUCN votes for deep-sea mining moratorium

Andrew Thaler for Deep-sea Mining Observer This month, the International Union for Conservation of Nature called on all state members to implement a deep-sea mining moratorium, including a moratorium on issuing new exploration contracts and adopting a mining code, until appropriate impact assessments have been completed. Those impact assessments include social, cultural, and economic risks, […]

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Opinion: Deep-sea Mining has Time.

Opinion by Andrew Thaler, DSMO Editor-in-Chief As we enter the final quarter of 2021, with a global pandemic still raging across all but a few countries and impacting supply chains and critical work throughout the world, it looks increasingly unlikely that an in-person session of the ISA will be possible before 2022, marking two years […]

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Has pulling the Trigger already backfired?

Andrew Thaler for the Deep-sea Mining Observer. The Republic of Nauru turned the deep-sea mining world on its head this summer when it invoked Article 15, colloquially known as the Trigger, starting a 2-year countdown on the finalization of mining regulations for polymetallic nodules in areas beyond national jurisdiction. This countdown means that commercial deep-sea […]

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For Deep-sea mining, battery technology is the ultimate x-factor

Andrew Thaler for the Deep-sea Mining Observer Deep-sea mining is frequently framed as a race to the seafloor. While that is not technically true–deep-sea mining has, in fact, been incredibly slow to develop as an industry, with nearly half a century of technological innovation, diplomatic negotiation, and environmental exploration under its belt without producing a […]

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India completes deepest sea trials for experimental benthic crawler

Andrew Thaler for the Deep-sea Mining Observer This April, India’s National Institute of Ocean Technology completed a landmark research cruise to test new deep-sea mining equipment, survey potential ore prospects, and attempt the deepest seabed crawler test yet conducted. This unprecedented endeavor was completed in the midst of a deadly wave of coronavirus infections spurred […]

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Tin Mining in Indonesia moves offshore

Andrew Thaler for the Deep-sea Mining Observer Of all the metals held up as essential to the renewable energy revolution, perhaps none is as under-appreciated as tin. Tin’s high conductivity, low melting point, high specific gravity, low toxicity, and relative abundance makes it an essential component of modern electronics. In the early 2000s, electronics manufacturers […]

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Washington State bans offshore mining in state waters

Andrew Thaler for the Deep-sea Mining Observer One of the more curious chapters in the history of deep-sea mining occurred last month, when the Washington State legislature passed a law effectively banning seabed mining for hard minerals within state waters. Senate Bill 5145, which passed near-unanimously in the Washington State Senate and House of Representatives […]

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