Commentary: Can the invocation of the ‘two-year rule’ at the International Seabed Authority be challenged?

Pradeep A. Singh for the Deep-sea Mining Observer [1] In late June 2021, some three months ago now, the Republic of Nauru invoked section 1(15) of the 1994 Agreement Relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (hereinafter ‘section 1(15)’), which houses the ‘two-year rule’ or […]

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Opinion: ISA rushes forward

Opinion by Andrew Thaler, DSMO Editor-in-Chief The International Seabed Authority published their provisional roadmap for the next two years of international negotiations, optimistically culminating with the approval of the Mining Code for polymetallic nodules in areas beyond national jurisdiction. This ambitious goal depends upon the ability to resume ISA sessions in Kingston, a scenario that […]

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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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Opinion: Deep-sea Mining has Time.

Opinion by Andrew Thaler, DSMO Editor-in-Chief As we enter the final quarter of 2021, with a global pandemic still raging across all but a few countries and impacting supply chains and critical work throughout the world, it looks increasingly unlikely that an in-person session of the ISA will be possible before 2022, marking two years […]

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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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Washington State bans offshore mining in state waters

Andrew Thaler for the Deep-sea Mining Observer One of the more curious chapters in the history of deep-sea mining occurred last month, when the Washington State legislature passed a law effectively banning seabed mining for hard minerals within state waters. Senate Bill 5145, which passed near-unanimously in the Washington State Senate and House of Representatives […]

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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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Opinion: The Precarious Partnership Between Deep-sea Mining Contractors and Environmental NGOs

Opinion by Andrew Thaler, DSMO Editor-in-Chief Deep-sea mining occupies a unique niche in the annals of extractive exploration. Its modern manifestation owes as much to the surging demand of critical minerals as it does to the work of environmental organizations shining a light on the vast environmental and ethical catastrophes of terrestrial mining. In its […]

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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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