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What happens when we pull the trigger?

Throughout the 26th Session of the International Seabed Authority, during both the council meeting and via media interviews, deep-sea mining contractors have begun to talk about “the trigger”. The trigger is a protocol within UNCLOS which would allow sponsoring states to jumpstart the deep-sea mining process, placing a ticking clock on the development of the […]

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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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The United States moves towards exploration and exploitation of critical mineral resources in the deep ocean.

Since the signing of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the creation of the International Seabed Authority, the United States of America has been a shadow partner in the growing deep-sea mining industry. Though the United States provides scientific and technical expertise, and is a de facto participant through American-owned subsidiaries […]

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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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Commentary: Latest developments in the election of members of the LTC

Pradeep A. Singh Pradeep Singh is a research associate at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (Potsdam, Germany) and doctoral candidate at the University of Bremen (Bremen, Germany). The views expressed here are his own and are partly based on his ongoing doctoral research. The composition of members at the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) […]

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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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Building consensus towards deadline: Regional Groups at the ISA

Sergio Cambronero There were high expectations at the first part of the 26thCouncil Session of the International Seabed Authority (ISA). 2020 was thought by many to herald the approval of the Exploitation Regulations. However, the drafting process is ongoing, entrenched in debate on key elements, which in turn has led to uncertainty around the approaching […]

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