seabed mining

23
Sep
2019

Source: Scoop.nz
Author: Kiwis Against Seabed Mining

Wellington – 23 September 2019 — Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM) and Greenpeace are in the Court of Appeal in Wellington this week, defending last year’s High Court ruling that quashed Trans-Tasman Resources’ (TTR) consent to mine the South Taranaki Bight seabed.

TTR is appealing the 2018 High Court decision that removed its consent to mine a 66 square kilometre area of the Bight for ironsands, which would involve digging up 50 million tonnes of the seabed a year for 35 years.

In granting its original consent, the Environmental Protection Agency set out 109 conditions, some of which amounted to “adaptive management” which KASM, Greenpeace and other parties argued to the High Court was unlawful, and Justice Churchman agreed.

This week the Court will hear TTR argue for mining to go ahead, and cross-appeals from KASM and Greenpeace, with the other parties, on a number of other issues the High Court decision rejected (see below).

Cindy Baxter, Chairperson of KASM, says this case is of utmost importance for preventing future seabed mining in New Zealand.

“This is a precedent-setting case, and it’s important to get the law as strong as possible, in order to protect our oceans from damage by future seabed miners. We cannot stress the importance of this case enough, in terms of the impact this destructive, untested industry could have on our ocean environment,” she said.

Jessica Desmond, campaigner at Greenpeace says it’s unacceptable the unique biodiversity of this region should be put at further risk from seabed mining.

“The South Taranaki Bight is home to Aotearoa’s own population of blue whales, the critically endangered Māui dolphin, blue penguins and other ocean taonga. These species are already under a multitude of threats from destructive fishing techniques, pollution and climate change, and this case is critical in protecting their home from damage by seabed mining.”

The case will be heard over three days between 24-26 September, and the two environmental organisations will be working alongside a range of other groups, including local iwi Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui, the trustees of Te Kaahui Rauru, Forest & Bird, the Taranaki-Whanganui Conservation Board, Te Ohu Kai Moana and a number of other fisheries interests.

The issues the two groups are cross-appealing include:

  • the application of the precautionary principle and international law;
  • the conduct of the hearing itself – including how the chairman of the EPA committee used his casting vote since there were four members, two of whom voted against granting consent;
  • the failure of the EPA to take economic costs as well as benefits into account;
  • the way the EPA dealt with issues around the effects of seabed mining crossing the boundary into the coastal marine area (within 12 miles from land); and
  • the failure to differentiate between a bond and public liability insurance

Timeline

Nov 2013: TTR applies to the EPA for a marine discharge consent for seabed mining
Mar 2014: EPA receives record number of submissions against any application in its history
Jun 2014: EPA refuses consent.
++++
Aug 2016: TTR re-applies for a marine discharge consent. Same area, same information.
Feb 2017: EPA hearings begin. Again, record submissions , again(13,700 against).
Aug 2017: EPA grants TTR consent
Apr 2018: KASM, Greenpeace et al appeal heard in the High Court
Aug 2018: High Court quashes TTR’s consent
Sep 2019: TTR takes case to Court of Appeal, other parties cross-appeal

Share this article:
29
May
2019

Source: EU Reporter

The International Seabed Authority, an intergovernmental organization established under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, is in the process of developing regulations that would permit mining the international areas of the deep ocean seabed.

Continue reading Fisheries and environmental organizations issue joint call for moratorium on #DeepSeaMining

Share this article:
24
Apr
2019

Source: Act Now PNG

The risks and uncertainties of experimental seabed mining are too great to allow this industry to ever proceed in Papua New Guinea. 

This was the view shared by seabed mining advocates, together with locals of West Coast Namatanai and representatives of Duke of York Islands, East New Britain Province, during an open forum in Namatanai.

After the gathering, a joint statement was issued, saying: “As New Irelanders we have two world class mining in Lihir and Simberi gold mine. We have logging operations and oil palm industry operating in the Province. We have run down plantations that can be used for cocoa or copra project that support local people.

Continue reading here.

Share this article:
15
Apr
2019

* The following article is available only in Dutch. To summarize: the Belgian dredging company DEME has temporarily stopped its experiment to harvest manganese nodules. Technical problems prevent the Patania II device from digging for these nodules for the time being. *

Source: VRT News
Author: Jos Vandervelden

De komende maanden zou Deme een proefprogramma starten waarbij mangaanknollen van de diepzeebodem worden opgehaald. In de Stille Zuidzee ten westen van Mexico is de Patania II te water gelaten, een rooimachine die in staat is op de bodem van de zee te opereren. De machine is met een navelstreng van zes kilometer verbonden met een onderzoeksschip aan het zeeoppervlak. Precies met deze verbinding is het de voorbije dagen misgelopen.

Continue reading Belgian dredging company halts experiment with deep-sea nodule harvester

Share this article:
5
Apr
2019

Source: EurekAlert

The area to be investigated by the research project “Mining Impact” is located in the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ) in the northeast Pacific at approximately 4,500 metres water depth shrouded in complete darkness. Here, in an area of five million square kilometres, manganese nodules are abundantly found on the seabed. Their metal content offers a potential for commercial deep-sea mining. In recent years mineral raw materials from the deep sea have become the focus of some countries and companies in order to secure their supply with high-tech metals.

Continue reading Manganese nodules: Desired mineral resource and important habitat

Share this article: