cobalt

17
Jan
2019

Source: Deep Sea Mining Observer
Author: Andrew Thaler

The Rio Grande Rise is an almost completely unstudied, geologically intriguing, ecologically mysterious, potential lost continent in the deep south Atlantic. And it also hosts dense cobalt-rich crusts.

Continue reading A lost continent rich in cobalt crusts could create a challenging precedent for mineral extraction in the high seas

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8
Dec
2018

Source: Quartz
Author: Lynsey Chutel

The rechargeable lithium-ion battery helps define our era. It powers our smartphones and electric cars, and promises a future where we’re better able to store renewable energy. It also requires lithium and cobalt, minerals that some of the world’s poorest countries happen to have in abundance. That should be good news for all concerned, but mismanagement and graft—common in extractive industries—are making the latest mining boom look uncomfortably like the bad old days of previous booms.

Continue reading What really powers your smartphone and electric car

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19
Nov
2018

Source: Honolulu Civil Beat
Author: Stewart Yerton

Critics fear rules for opening a swath of ocean bed between Mexico and Hawaii won’t protect “the most pristine wilderness on the planet.”

Deep on the floor of the Pacific Ocean, amidst one of earth’s greatest unexploited reserves of valuable minerals, are ecosystems of otherworldly creatures.

There are fast-moving sea urchins; anemones that perch like flowers atop long sponge stalks; translucent, tentacled sea cucumbers that look like something from Pokemon, and yellow gelatinous critters that University of Hawaii oceanographers have nicknamed “Gummy Squirrels.”

Continue reading Rushing To Mine A Sea Floor Full Of Treasure — And Unique Creatures

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14
Nov
2018

Source: Financial Times
Author: Henry Sanderson

Miners want to tap subsea cobalt deposits for green technologies, but environmentalists worry.

Gerard Barron brandishes a small black rock — the size of the palm of his hand — and heralds it as the future: “It’s all right here, all the metals we need.”

The Australian entrepreneur believes these rocks, formed over millions of years at the bottom of the ocean, can help satisfy the growing demand for the metals used in batteries and clean energy technologies, and are therefore critical to the transition away from fossil fuels. Less than 20cm wide, the so-called nodules can contain nickel, manganese, copper and cobalt— all set to see a surge in demand over the next decade.

Continue reading Electric vehicles spur race to mine deep sea riches

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14
Nov
2018

Source: Reuters
Author: Barbara Lewis

China, the leading holder of international deep sea exploration licences, has increased its lead in the race for alternative sources of battery minerals by taking samples from cobalt-bearing mountains deep in the Pacific.

The cobalt-rich crusts could one day curb the world’s dependence on cobalt from Democratic Republic of Congo, but most companies say deep sea mining is a distant prospect.

Continue reading China plumbs ocean depths to extend its cobalt lead

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12
Nov
2018

**To read more about the threats of cobalt as it relates to the deep sea, please see our Deep-Seabed Mining page**

Source: IQS Directory

From its use as a coloring pigment in ceramics in Ancient Egypt to its discovery as a key ingredient in much of our modern technology, the mineral cobalt has a long history.

Even though this brittle, silvery-blue metal is in wide use across our modern society, it’s likely the last time any of us gave it much thought was in a high school science class.

Unfortunately, the acquisition of cobalt often comes with unsavory and antiquated methods. It’s an excellent time to freshen up your knowledge on why (or if) we need it and if there is an alternative way to obtain it.

Continue reading here.

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31
Oct
2018

Source: Natural History Museum (UK)
Author: Katie Pavid

Scientists have collected data on a tiny sponge thought to be at risk from seabed mining.

This newly discovered species could be a ‘canary in a coal mine’ to allow scientists to monitor the impacts of this new industry.

The Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ) is a vast area of the Pacific Ocean between Mexico and Hawaii. At six million square kilometres, it is roughly 24 times bigger than the UK.

The zone is important because it’s the world’s largest area of ocean that is targeted for deep-sea mining. Mineral companies and nation states, eager to secure access to precious metals, are attracted to the area because it is rich in polymetallic nodules – small chunks of minerals scattered on the seafloor.

Continue reading The tiny sponge that could help preserve our deep oceans

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21
Sep
2018

Source: Nature
Author: Amy Maxmen

“Gummy squirrels,” single-celled organisms the size of softballs and strange worms thrive in a Pacific Ocean zone some considered an underwater desert.

Deep in the eastern central Pacific Ocean, on a stretch of sea floor nearly as big as the continental United States, researchers are discovering species faster than they can name them. And they are exploring newfound fossil beds of whales that lived up to 16 million years ago.

The findings — many reported for the first time last week at the Deep-Sea Biology Symposium in Monterey, California — have come as a shock. Some scientists had thought these vast underwater plains, 4,000–5,500 metres below the ocean surface, were relatively lifeless. But that is changing just as nations and corporations prepare to mine this patch of the Pacific sea bed for cobalt, manganese and other elements for use in technologies such as smartphones and electric cars.

Continue reading Discovery of vibrant deep-sea life prompts new worries over seabed mining

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20
Jul
2018

Source: MIT Technology Review 

Conamix, a little-known startup based in Ithaca, New York, has raised several million dollars to accelerate its development of cobalt-free materials for lithium-ion batteries, the latest sign that companies are eager to find alternatives to the increasingly rare and expensive metal.

Continue reading A freshly funded battery startup aims to ease the cobalt crunch

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