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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Legal Consequences of the Two-Year Rule at the ISA and Implications of Missing the Deadline

Interview with Pradeep A. Singh As part of the 27th Session of the International Seabed Authority, the Council met from 18-29 July and the Assembly from 1-5 August. One key topic that reverberated throughout the meetings was the looming deadline to complete the elaboration and adoption of regulations that would allow exploitation activities to commence, […]

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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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“Let us be up to the task that has been given to us” – Four key takeaways from the summer meeting of the International Seabed Authority

Andrew Thaler for the DSM Observer After nearly a month and a half of meetings, including of the Legal and Technical Commission, the Finance Committee, the Council, and the Assembly, the Second part of the 27th Session of the International Seabed Authority came to a close on August 4th, 2022. Though a critical moment for […]

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The “Sword of Damocles” hangs over the future of Deep-sea Mining

Andrew Thaler for the Deep-sea Mining Observer Twenty-eight years ago, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) gathered in Jamaica for the first time to establish the regulations, standards, and guidelines governing how mineral resources—resources that under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea are the “common heritage of mankind”—would be mined from the ocean […]

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Nothing is Agreed Until Everything is Agreed: the Financial Model dominates the first meeting of the 27th session of the International Seabed Authority

Andrew Thaler for the DSM Observer While environmental impacts dominate the public discussion surrounding deep-sea mining, another highly contentious barrier to the implementation of a deep-sea mining code carries equal, if not greater weight within the International Seabed Authority. The financial regime, a novel payment structure which establishes the mechanism by which proceeds generated from […]

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Tuvalu cancels its sponsorship: the role of international law.

Opinion/Editorial by Alberto Pecoraro Alberto Pecoraro is a PhD Fellow at the Law & Development Research Group of the University of Antwerp (Belgium). His research concerns the international legal protection of deep seabed mining investments. Tuvalu’s recent decision to cancel its sponsorship of Circular Metals Tuvalu Ltd. may entail far-reaching international legal consequences. On the […]

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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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