Key statements from states – 19/7/22

Date: 19 July 2022

Nauru

  • The delegation acknowledged that the current structure with NORI “does not provide for corporate income tax to be levied” and that they have “started discussions with NORI to address these matters.” The DSCC welcomed the news from Nauru that the contract is to be renegotiated and suggested that “Nauru reconsiders sponsoring NORI in light of the difficulties and global anxiety that the 2 year rule has caused.”
  • They also stated that environmental costs should include the climate crisis and all environmental costs.

China

  • China stated that “current technology is still in the exploratory stage” and highlighted that environmental risks are “much higher than the land-based in mining, therefore, before even entering the commercial production, the risks and uncertainty are much higher.”

Costa Rica

  • The delegation also asked: “What will happen if we take the water and then return that water to the sea? If there are heavy metals involved then we don’t know what the consequences might be for biodiversity”
  • Costa Rica also commented that “We always have to remind ourselves that we are talking about the common heritage of humankind, including for future generations. A 2% royalty rate is not enough for us to even begin discussing using this heritage of humanity.”
  • They added that as we are dealing with common heritage “we need to evaluate environmental costs” and that “this is not about getting the right amount of money for contractors but it is about what we as humanity get in return. When as humanity, will we have received enough in consideration of all the environmental damage that mining would entail and the use of resources that we will never get back again?”
  • The delegation stated that “the area’s common heritage includes more than just resources. It also provides a reservoir of biodiversity, critical habitat for vulnerable marine species, a source of undiscovered genetic resources, and an engine for planetary cycles. These environmental services are critically valuable, perhaps even more so than the area’s mineral resources. If mining goes forward, it is likely that some of these services may be dismissed or destroyed.”
  • “Knowing the value of what we will lose is necessary to determine whether mining in the area will provide a net benefit for humanity and to ensure adequate resources are invested in the effective protection of the marine environment.”

South Africa

  • South Africa stated that contractors may be awarded an exploitation licence and then value of licence may increase and be sold for 100 millions of dollars due to circumstances outside control e.g. higher prices and yet there would be no benefit to mankind as a whole – this is not fair.
  • The delegation also highlighted that some contractors have negotiated explicit exemptions from sponsoring State tax

Chile

  • The delegation highlighted that discussions that some financial models discussed would essentially establish an “indirect subsidy to contractors.”

Mexico

  • The delegation stated that deep-sea mining should be more like the hydrocarbon industry
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