Source: ChinaDialogue Ocean
Author: Diva Amon
Human activity is transforming the planet and the deep ocean is no exception. As the demand for metals increases humans are seeking them in ever more remote places. The next frontier may be the deep seabed.
Valuable metallic ores laden with cobalt, copper, nickel, gold and other rare metals are found in polymetallic sulphides at hydrothermal vents, polymetallic nodules on abyssal plains and ferromanganese crusts on seamounts. As many of these habitats are found in international waters, they fall under the mandate of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), which has allocated 29 mining exploration contract areas globally, some of which are up to 75,000 square kilometres, or roughly the size of Panama.
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