Mining the Ocean

The Price We’re Willing to Pay: trade-offs and balance in the deep-sea mining industry

Andrew Thaler for the DSM Observer “To build a green future,” said Gerard Barron, CEO of The Metals Company in a May 2022 press release, “our generation will need to mine more metal than we have mined in our entire history. This will lead to more emissions, more social displacement, more habitat destruction and more […]

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Transparency and trust in the Deep-sea Mining Industry

Maria Bolevich for DSM Observer Transparency builds trust, but deep-sea mining contractors are faced with the challenge of balancing a mandate for transparency under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea with the need to maintain propriety over the privileged information needed to compete in an emerging industry. This balancing act creates an […]

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IUCN votes for deep-sea mining moratorium

Andrew Thaler for Deep-sea Mining Observer This month, the International Union for Conservation of Nature called on all state members to implement a deep-sea mining moratorium, including a moratorium on issuing new exploration contracts and adopting a mining code, until appropriate impact assessments have been completed. Those impact assessments include social, cultural, and economic risks, […]

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Has pulling the Trigger already backfired?

Andrew Thaler for the Deep-sea Mining Observer. The Republic of Nauru turned the deep-sea mining world on its head this summer when it invoked Article 15, colloquially known as the Trigger, starting a 2-year countdown on the finalization of mining regulations for polymetallic nodules in areas beyond national jurisdiction. This countdown means that commercial deep-sea […]

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Tin Mining in Indonesia moves offshore

Andrew Thaler for the Deep-sea Mining Observer Of all the metals held up as essential to the renewable energy revolution, perhaps none is as under-appreciated as tin. Tin’s high conductivity, low melting point, high specific gravity, low toxicity, and relative abundance makes it an essential component of modern electronics. In the early 2000s, electronics manufacturers […]

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A pivotal moment in the history of deep-sea mining

Andrew Thaler for the Deep-sea Mining Observer The spring and summer of 2021 will likely stand as the pivotal moment in the history of deep-sea mining. Months of intense protest amidst significant at-sea progress on environmental impact studies and prototype testing were capped off earlier this week by the explosive announcement that the Republic of […]

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Why we’re calling on the United Nations to Protect Biodiversity Beyond Borders

Rebecca Helm, Nichola Clark, and Diva Amon for the Deep-sea Mining Observer The High Seas cover nearly half of Earth’s surface, and hold over 90% of livable habitat on the planet. Yet the High Seas  fall under no single nation’s jurisdiction (similar to the ‘Area Beyond National Jurisdiction’ (ABNJ)), and as a result, governance of […]

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© Marten van Dijl / Greenpeace

Major Brands Say No to Deep-sea Mining, for the Moment

Andrew Thaler for the DSM Observer On Wednesday, March 30, several major technology and automotive companies joined the deep-sea mining moratorium movement. Google, BMW, Volvo, and Samsung SDI (a Samsung subsidiary responsible for manufacturing small lithium-ion batteries for smartphones and other applications) signed on to the World Wide Fund For Nature’s Global Deep-sea Mining Moratorium […]

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Furious Agreement

Opinion/Editorial by Kris Van Nijen, Global Sea Mineral Resources Harmony has broken out in the world of deep-seabed mining. At last, contractors, regulators, NGOs and end users are aligned on the way forward. After years of heated debate, a snowball effect has occurred, and all parties have agreed that more research is needed before commercial […]

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Life Cycle Assessment will Play an Important in Decision Making for Deep-sea Mining

Maria Bolevich for the DSM Observer Last April, DeepGreen published a first of its kind life cycle analysis comparing the environmental, social, and economic impacts of land-based ores and deep-ocean polymetallic nodules. “Billions of tons of metal will be taken from the planet between now and 2050 to enable the clean energy transition,” says Gerard […]

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