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Cut rock samples from the Rio Grande Rise show Fe-Mn crusts (black and gray) growing on various types of iron-rich substrate rocks (pale to dark brown). Photo credit: Kira Mizell, USGS.

A lost continent rich in cobalt crusts could create a challenging precedent for mineral extraction in the high seas.

The Rio Grande Rise is an almost completely unstudied, geologically intriguing, ecologically mysterious, potential lost continent in the deep south Atlantic. And it also hosts dense cobalt-rich crusts. The Rio Grande Rise is a region of deep-ocean seamounts roughly the area of Iceland in the southwestern Atlantic. It lies west of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge off […]

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The Ocean No 6 returns to port in South China's Guangdong province on Nov 11, 2018. Photo courtesy Chinanews.com.

Chinese vessel collects cobalt samples in the Pacific.

Reuters | 11 November 2018 A Chinese deep-sea exploration vessel has returned to port in Guangdong after collecting samples of so-called cobalt-bearing crusts during a 138-day survey in the west Pacific, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday. Cobalt is used in batteries for electric vehicles, an important industry for China, the world’s largest […]

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How Batteries Sparked a Cobalt Frenzy and What Could Happen Next

MARK BURTON on BLOOMBERG MARKETS | 17 December 2017 “Cobalt left other metals in the dust this year, driven by demand from electric carmakers like Tesla Inc. But with new supply coming online and high prices likely to spur substitution and recycling, the market for the key battery component could prove choppier next year.” Read […]

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electric cars

‘Miner’s revenge’ is coming with electric cars, Friedland says

BLOOMBERG via MINING WEEKLY | 1 Dec 2017 “Surging demand for metals like copper, nickel and cobalt for use in electric vehicles promises to overturn the balance of power between mining companies and their customers, according to billionaire investor Robert Friedland. Automakers will have to change the way they approach procurement if they want to […]

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energy metal supplies

Cobalt’s dramatic demand bump gives rise to novel investment vehicle

HENRY LAZENBY on MINING WEEKLY | 1 December 2017 “Cobalt supply constraints, coupled with a never-before-seen boom in the adoption rate of electric vehicles (EV) across the globe, have conspired to create an ideal market in which a pure-play cobalt investment and participation vehicle’s profits can outpace its peers. Cobalt, a critical ‘energy metal’ used […]

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Paul Lynch

Deep Sea Mining from a Pacific Island State Perspective: An Interview with Cook Islands Seabed Minerals Commissioner Paul Lynch

Since August 2012, Paul Lynch has led the Cook Islands’ Seabed Minerals Authority, which oversees development of the islands’ national seabed mineral resource. A lawyer with over 25 years of wide and varied legal experience in the private sector, Commissioner Lynch is shaping deep sea mining as an industry, both in the Cook Islands and […]

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cobalt

Cobalt on the Rise

Interest in deep sea mining has been accelerating due to the rising price of cobalt. The metal is an important component of EV batteries, laptops and cell phones. In October 2017, cobalt prices reached a nine-year high, trading at around US$30 per pound, tripling its 2015 value of US$10.   The rise is not only seen […]

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Cook Islands

Cook Islands Partners to Explore Pacific Bounty

The government of the Cook Islands, through the Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC), entered into an agreement in September with U.S. based Ocean Minerals, LLC (OML) for the exclusive right for up to 18 months to prospect and explore high value polymetallic nodules over approximately 23,000 square kilometers of the Cook Islands Exclusive Economic Zone […]

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