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The human impacts of mining the deep seafloor

Maria Bolevich for DSM Observer Stakeholders and policymakers rightly focus on the impacts that accessing ore from the bottom of the ocean will have on the marine environment, mineral supply chains, and next-generation technologies, but the consequences of this emerging industry will have social impacts that reach far beyond the seafloor. We contacted several individuals […]

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Deadlines and delays: What to expect from the next ISA meeting

After a multiple-month delay in response to the global pandemic, the International Seabed Authority is set to convene the second part of the 26th Session in Kingston Jamaica this December. While the format of the December meeting has not yet been announced, a previous postponement from July to October had the meeting substantially abridged compared […]

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The last days of Nautilus Minerals.

After nearly two decades of promise and two years of confusion and uncertainty, it looks like the curtain has finally closed on Solwara I and Nautilus Minerals. In the mid-2000’s, Nautilus Minerals made their mark as the first commercial venture to explore seafloor massive sulphides for potential mineral extraction. In the early 2010’s the company […]

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The deep-sea mining community adapts to the new normal under coronavirus restrictions.

Maria Bolevich for DSM Observer The coronavirus pandemic is changing the world in dramatic and subtle ways, exacting a toll measured both in lost lives and economic uncertainty. Deep-sea mining has been in development for over 50 years and now, at the moment in which negotiations were poised to transition the industry from exploration to […]

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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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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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Solid state batteries could change the seascape for deep-sea mining

In 1980, Dr. John B. Goodenough unraveled the electro-chemical reactions that would give birth to one of the single most important inventions of the 20th century: the lithium ion battery. The first commercially viable rechargeable lithium ion batteries were soon being produced by Dr. Akira Yoshino at Sony. Without these tiny cells’ immense potential to […]

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“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, […]

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