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.
Environmental campaigners say extreme caution is needed before miners disturb little understood parts of the planet.
“We call for tough regulations and 30 percent-to-50 percent of all ISA exploration areas to be set aside as no-mining zones,” Conn Nugent, director of the Pew Seabed Mining Project, said.
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