International Seabed Authority

3
Dec
2018

Source: Reuters
Author: Zoe Tabary

Ransom-hungry pirates, polar explorers, offshore oil giants – the race for the riches of the world’s final frontier is on.

From Thailand to Alaska, the battle to tap ever-dwindling resources from minerals to fish is spurring new conflicts over who has the right to the treasures of the deep seas.

Continue reading The final frontier: who owns the oceans and their hidden treasures?

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23
Nov
2018

Source: Sputnik News

The International Seabed Authority is drawing up new rules on the exploitation of the seabed by deep sea mining companies. Sputnik spoke to Ann Dom, Deputy Director of Seas At Risk, and two deep sea mining companies about the risks of trawling for metals on the ocean floor.

Global demand for cobalt, copper, nickel and manganese is booming as they are required in the production of electric batteries and clean energy technology and companies are now looking at the ocean as a possible source of these minerals.

Continue reading ‘Deep Sea Mining Could Rob us of Cure for Cancer’, Say Conservationists

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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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28
Sep
2018

Source: Bloomburg BNA
Author: Adam Ellington and Stephan Lee

Once thought too expensive and too difficult, commercial scale mining of the deep sea is poised to become a reality as early as 2019. But scientists warn reaching rare minerals on and under the sea floor could cause irreversible damage to an environment that is still poorly understood.

Continue reading Deep-Sea Mining for Rare-Earth Metals Looms, as Do Environmental Questions

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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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17
Sep
2018

Source: Mining Technology
Author: JP Casey

From Rio Tinto’s bauxite operations in Australia to Nautilus’ Solwara 1 project in Papua New Guinean waters, the work of mining companies can have a significant – and often destructive – impact on local wildlife. Guidelines and legislation operating above the level of national governments could help to guide mining towards a less destructive future, but questions remain over their effectiveness.

Continue reading Urgent concern: how mining damages wildlife on land and at sea

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6
Sep
2018

Source: The Pioneer
Author: Kota Sriraj

A fall in the number of deep sea organisms illustrates the adverse impact of mining our oceans. This ruthless exploitation must end

Oceans are the lifeblood of planet Earth and humankind. They flow over nearly three-quarters of our planet and hold 97 per cent of the planet’s water. They produce more than half of the oxygen in the atmosphere and absorb most of the carbon from it. About half of the world’s population lives within the coastal zone, and ocean-based businesses contribute more than $500 billion to the world’s economy. With credentials such as these, oceans of the world need to be treated with utmost care. Sadly, this is not the case. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation report, oceans are already filled with about 165 million tonnes of plastic, and it is estimated that by 2050, the weight of plastic floating in the oceans of the world will far outweigh the combined weight of fishes in it. To make matters worse, the prospect of deep-sea mining for precious metals, gas and petroleum is emerging as a serious threat.

Continue reading Deep-sea mining: A dangerous prospect

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