Belgium’s Global Sea Mineral Resources (GSR) resumed on Friday tests that could lead to the mining of battery minerals from the Pacific Ocean floor after it managed to recover a robot stranded at a depth of thousands of metres.
The company reported Wednesday that its Patania II, a 25-tonne mining robot prototype, had uncoupled from a 5km-long (3.1 miles) cable connecting it to the surface.
The unit of Belgium’s DEME Group is with a group of European scientists to determine the environmental impacts of deep-sea mining. They are working on GSR’s concession in the Clarion Clipperton Zone.
“It’s ironic that an industry that wants to extract metals from the seabed ends up dropping it down there instead,” Sandra Schoettner, deep-sea biologist from Greenpeace Germany, said in a statement.
“This glaring operational failure must act as a stark warning that deep sea mining is too big a risk.”
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