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Delegates for the Development of Standards & Guidelines Multi-stakeholder Workshop. Photo courtesy ISA.

Setting the Standard: Progress on the development of Standards and Guidelines for the ISA Mining Code

In the impressive Department of International Relations and Cooperation in Pretoria, over 80 national delegates, members of the International Seabed Authority Secretariat, contractors, industry professionals, NGO representatives and academics, covering a wide range of skills and expertise, gathered last week. They were tasked with not only prioritizing the list of Standards and Guidelines to support […]

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Krypton Ocean: big vision and small steps towards mining the seafloor.

One of the fascinating aspects of the deep-sea mining community is how much history is shared among contractors. Nautilus Minerals, GSR, DeepGreen, and, especially, Lockheed, have expertise among their staff stretching all the way back to the early days of the Glomar Explorer. During our investigation into nodules for sale, we interviewed several people who […]

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International Seabed Authority internship associate legal officer environmental management plans Women and girls in science ISA Releases Stakeholder Submissions to Draft Exploitation Regulations

From the Editor: Following up with Nautilus Minerals and the release of the draft mining code.

The slow decline of Nautilus Minerals continues without much change. I reached out to several contacts both at Nautilus’s corporate offices and to colleagues within Papua New Guinea. Since last month, most of the board of directors and the current CEO have resigned, Nautilus was delisted from the Toronto stock exchange, and previously responsive sources […]

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Negotiations continue for Biodiversity Protection in the High Seas

From March 25th to April 5th, hundreds of delegates gathered at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan to continue work on one of the most consequential ocean-based treaty negotiations in recent memory. It was the second of four planned intergovernmental conference sessions to establish a new, legally binding instrument for the conservation and sustainable use […]

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Trying to Grasp the Financial Model

The Financial Model, the mechanism by which the ideals built into the founding principles of the ISA—that mineral resources in the high seas are the common heritage of humankind—are manifested in practice, is perhaps the most challenging component of launching any deep-sea mining venture. The financial model is predictive, based on myriad assumptions about what […]

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A snail relocation experiment near Solwara I. Photo courtesy Nautilus Minerals.

Is this the end of Nautilus Minerals?

Last month brought grim news for the struggling Nautilus Minerals, once hailed as the world’s first viable deep-sea mining company. While ISA delegates were gathered in Jamaica, news broke that Nautilus secured relief from its creditors while it sought to restructure the company. Nautilus’s assets, including equipment, intellectual property, and mining leases are being auctioned […]

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The view from the Council Chamber. Photo by author.

From the Editor: Notes from the 25th Session.

Last month, representatives from member states, NGOs, contractors, and other stakeholders gathered in Kingston, Jamaica for Part I of the 25th Session of the International Seabed Authority. Over the course of a week, the General Council discussed and deliberated on the future of deep-sea mining, including how the financial model will be implemented, how to […]

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Delegates gather during an informal meeting. Photo courtesy ISA.

The Five Most Talked about Moments from the ISA Council Meeting

It was a cool week in Kingston as representatives from member states, observers, NGOs, and other stakeholders gathered at the International Seabed Authority to continue the quarter-century-long process of guiding mineral extraction in the high seas towards production. Discussions were broad in vision, focused in scope, and soberingly detailed. While everything from the percentage points […]

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A polymetallic nodule from the Clarion Clipperton Fracture Zone, purchased from an online dealer. 

Nodules for sale: tracking the origin of polymetallic nodules from the CCZ on the open market. 

You can buy a 5-lb bag of polymetallic nodules from the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone on Amazon, right now. Depending on your vantage point and how long you’ve participated in the deep-sea mining community, this will either come as a huge surprise or be completely unexceptional. Prior to the formation of the International Seabed Authority, there […]

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