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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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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 […]

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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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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 […]

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