UN body mulls deep sea mining amid demand for minerals – by Dánica Coto, (The Associated Press – March 31, 2023)


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Pressure is mounting on an obscure U.N. body based in Jamaica to hit pause on plans to potentially open the world’s deep seas to mining as companies push for permission to extract metals from seabeds in international waters.

The International Seabed Authority on Friday closed two weeks’ worth of negotiations without approving rules and regulations to oversee deep sea mining amid growing calls to pause, ban or place a moratorium on the quest to extract minerals from the Earth’s watery depths that are used in green technology like electric car batteries.

While the first exploration licenses for deep sea mining were issued in 2001, the authority has yet to receive an application for actual mining. Individual countries and private companies can start applying for provisional licenses on July 10 if the U.N. body does not approve a set of rules and regulations by July 9, which experts say is highly unlikely since they believe the process could take several years.

“We know what a crucial period…the council is in at the moment,” Deryck Lance Murray, the authority’s representative for Trinidad and Tobago, said at the closing meeting on Friday.

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