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A new species of the sea-anemone-like Relicanthus clings to a sponge stalk on the floor of the Pacific Ocean.Credit: D. J. Amon & C. R. Smith

Bus-size robot set to vacuum up valuable metals from the deep sea

Paul Voosen for Science | 14 March 2019 Sometimes the sailors’ myths aren’t far off: The deep ocean really is filled with treasure and creatures most strange. For decades, one treasure—potato-size nodules rich in valuable metals that sit on the dark abyssal floor—has lured big-thinking entrepreneurs, while defying their engineers. But that could change next […]

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A polymetallic nodule. (Image: Nautilus Minerals)

Deep seabed mining: key questions

Jessica Aldred for chinadialogue ocean | 26 February 2019 What is deep sea mining? It’s the process of retrieving mineral deposits from the deep sea – the area of the ocean below 200 metres. This covers around 65% of the Earth’s surface and harbours a rich diversity of species adapted to the harsh environment – […]

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A crustacean looking out from within a deep sea octocoral, 1,150m beneath the Gulf of Mexico. (Image: NOAA)

The future of deep seabed mining

Jessica Aldred for chinadialogue ocean | 24 February 2019 It’s one of the coldest, darkest places on earth, full of marine life – much of which is yet to be discovered – with a seabed rich in mineral deposits. In the last decade, the floor of the deep ocean that lies outside the jurisdiction of […]

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The perils of mining the deep

Matthew Gianni and Sian Owen for The Economist World Ocean Initiative | 11 February 2019 The deep seabed was once believed to be a lifeless realm of mud and rock. This barren image changed dramatically, however, as technology to explore the hidden depths improved. In 2016, the United Nations First World Ocean Assessment described the […]

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Mushroom soft coral with feeding polyps extended on the Davidson Seamount, at 1,470m below. Some deep sea corals can live for several thousand years, making them the oldest organisms on the planet. (NOAA)

Species threatened by deep-sea mining

Ned Pennant-Rea for chinadialogue ocean | 28 February 2019 The UN has described the deep sea as “the largest source of species and ecosystem diversity on Earth.” Life thrives particularly on the vast expanses of sea floor known as abyssal plains, amid the submarine mountains that rise from them and around superheated springs. Extremes of […]

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The remotely-operated Hercules searches for deep sea fauna. (Image: NOAA)

We should explore the deep ocean, not mine it

Diva Amon for chinadialogue ocean | 4 March 2019 Human activity is transforming the planet and the deep ocean is no exception. As the demand for metals increases humans are seeking them in ever more remote places. The next frontier may be the deep seabed. Valuable metallic ores laden with cobalt, copper, nickel, gold and […]

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Ambassador Masahiko Kiya, the Ambassador for TICAD 7,MOFA Japan, Ambassador Soloman Maina, Kenya’s ambassador to Japan and Siddharth Chatterjee, United Nations Resident Coordinator to Kenya (Kenya Embassy)

Blue Economy: The new frontier for Africa’s growth – An interview with Siddharth Chatterjee UN Resident Coordinator to Kenya

Nikki Shimbun for Pulse Live Kenya | 8 February 2019 The blue economy in Africa is neglected, ignored or underexploited, but it can offer a range of African solutions to African economic problems. More than one-quarter of Africa’s population lives within 100km of the coast and derive their livelihoods there. According to the International Energy Agency […]

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Rare minerals can be found in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone Geomar

Deep-sea mining could wreck the last unexplored ecosystem on Earth

Olive Heffernan for New Scientist | 31 January 2019 Some call it the final frontier. Having spent much of human history scouring – and scarring – Earth’s surface to extract precious mineral resources, we are now turning to the most remote, and least known, part of our planet in search of more: the deep sea. Read the full article here: Deep-sea […]

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Image credit: Nekton

Ground-breaking deep-sea exploration to boost good ocean governance

Natricia Duncan for The Commonwealth | 29 January 2019 Commonwealth governments are set to benefit from a ground-breaking scientific research expedition into the unexplored depths of the Indian Ocean.  First Descent, a collaboration of ocean research institute Nekton, the Commonwealth and other partners will launch a multidisciplinary exploration of never-before-accessed ocean territory.  The expedition ship, […]

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A nodule harvester. Image courtesy DeepGreen.

Metals for our Future

Chris Hinde for the Mining Beacon | 21 December 2018 In his presentation at the Mines and Money London conference in November, the CEO of DeepGreen Metals Inc., Gerard Barron, outlined the problems facing the global economy in the supply of sustainable metals and minerals, and the role this private Vancouver-based company is planning to […]

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