An investigation by conservationists has found evidence that deep-seabed mining of rare minerals could cause “extensive and irreversible” damage to the planet.
The report, to be published on Monday by the international wildlife charity Fauna & Flora, adds to the growing controversy that surrounds proposals to sweep the ocean floor of rare minerals that include cobalt, manganese and nickel. Mining companies want to exploit these deposits – which are crucial to the alternative energy sector – because land supplies are running low, they say.
However, oceanographers, biologists and other researchers have warned that these plans would cause widespread pollution, destroy global fish stocks and obliterate marine ecosystems.
“The ocean plays a critical role in the basic functioning of our planet, and protecting its delicate ecosystem is not just critical for marine biodiversity but for all life on Earth,” said Sophie Benbow, the organisation’s marine director.
For the rest of this article: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/mar/26/deep-sea-mining-for-rare-metals-will-destroy-ecosystems-say-scientists