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The MV Nor Sky, a vessel chartered in 2008 by Nautilus Minerals to conduct environmental assessment at Solwara I, steams past the Tavurvur volcano near Rabaul. 

For Nautilus Minerals, the debt comes due.

2018 was supposed to be the year for Nautilus Minerals. Their three seafloor production tools—large underwater robots capable of mining seafloor massive sulphides from 1600 meters depth—were finally in hand and undergoing submerged testing. Their ship, the Nautilus New Era, was nearing completion. They had only a few hurdles left to clear before beginning production […]

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Fig 3. Examples of metazoan megafauna photographed at the APEI6 seafloor during AUV survey. Scale bars representing 50 mm. (a) Actiniaria msp-6. (b) Actiniaria msp-13. (c) Bathygorgia cf. profunda. (d) Abyssopathes cf. lyra. (e) Left: Chonelasma sp.; right: Hyalonema sp. (f) Cladorhiza cf. kensmithi. (g) Bathystylodactylus cf. echinus. (h) Nematocarcinus sp. (i) Sabellida msp-1 (polychaete). (j) Left: Freyastera sp.; right: Caulophacus sp. (k) Psychropotes cf. longicauda. (l) Benthodytes cf. typica. (m) Coryphaenoides sp. (n) Typhlonus nasus. o and p: probable new Mastigoteuthis sp. Same specimen photographed with different cameras: (o) vertical view; (p) oblique view (Image taken ∼1″ prior to the vertical shot).

A year of discovery in the deep sea

2018 was a banner year for studies highlighting the importance of hydrothermal vents not just to the highly specialized communities that thrive around seafloor massive sulphides, but also to the surrounding benthic community. Vents provide nursery grounds for octopuses and deep-sea skates, but they also provide food for deep-sea and shallow water animals. At shallow-water […]

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The abridged version of our info-graphic that went out with the newsletter. Check below for the full version.

From the Editor: An update on Solwara I and a call for article pitches.

This was a big month for deep-sea meetings, with workshops on risk management and high seas cable laying, as well as strong representation from the deep-sea mining community at NOAA’s Ocean Exploration Forum. There’s so much going on in deep-sea mining right now that it’s tough for stakeholders to grasp the scale of the industry. […]

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Polymetallic Nodule and Sulphide Mining to Scale

To better help stakeholders visualize the scale of Polymetallic Nodule and Seafloor Massive Sulphide mining, we created this short info-graphic highlighting the size of the vehicles and vessels (base on photographs and best available information) as well as the scope of the mining leases in the CCZ and Papua New Guinea with respect to the […]

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The Honotua Cable that crosses CCZ Block 1, based on ISA’s maps. Image courtesy Business Wire.

Without “due regard”, mining may get snagged on submerged cables

Representatives from the International Seabed Authority, the deep-sea mining community, and the International Cable Protection Committee met last week in Bangkok for the Second Workshop on Deep Seabed Mining and Submarine Cables. As the world becomes increasingly more connected, ocean-spanning, high-bandwidth cables are becoming increasingly necessary to maintain a global telecommunication infrastructure. The Law of the Sea recognizes the […]

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Palau nautilus from side. Palau, Micronesia. Photo by Lee R. Berger.

From the Editor: Getting a handle on jargon

Deep-sea mining is plagued by inscrutable jargon that makes it very difficult to newcomers to engage meaningfully with the industry. One of the big complaints I heard at the Deep-sea Biology Symposium from graduate students and professionals who hadn’t spent much time on mining was that there were so many acronyms, generic technical terms, and […]

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GCRF PhD studentship – The Tragedy of Common Heritage: Environmental Conservation and the Exploitation of the Resources of the Deep Sea Bed

Applications are invited for a fully-funded PhD Studentship on The Tragedy of Common Heritage. The studentship is funded through Durham University’s new Global Challenges Research Fund Centre for Doctoral Training. The project will require a researcher to analyse the history and development of the regulation of the resources of the deep sea bed and consider how […]

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Patania II, courtesy DEME.

Global Sea Mineral Resources unveils the Patania II nodule collector

This week, Global Sea Mineral Resources unveiled Patania II, a pre-prototype polymetallic nodule collector built to work in the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone. Patania II is the successor to Patania I, which was successfully tested in the Central Pacific Ocean last year. Patania I was a track system designed to crawl across the deep seafloor of […]

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The Maersk Launcher, DeepGreen's support ship. with the Ocean Cleanup System 001.

DeepGreen’s vision for the next generation of deep-sea mining

“This is an electric vehicle battery,” Gerard Barron exclaims as he holds a fist-size nodule, dark and lumpy, up to the screen. For Barron, CEO of DeepGreen Resources, harvesting polymetallic metals from the seafloor is not just a new mining venture, it is a mission to transition away from fossil fuels into a new, green […]

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