Companies Can Vie to Mine the Deep Sea Starting in July – by Todd Woody (Bloomberg News – April 3, 2023)

(Bloomberg) — A United Nations-affiliated organization is expected to start accepting applications this summer from companies looking to mine deep sea ecosystems for valuable metals, despite failing on Friday to establish regulations governing the embryonic industry.

That doesn’t necessarily mean mining is set to begin anytime soon. Given the absence of environmental regulations, as well as ongoing disagreement among the International Seabed Authority’s 167 member nations over whether deep sea mining should even proceed, there are doubts about whether licenses will be issued and under what conditions.

Regardless, the failure to establish a regulatory framework before the deadline — for environmental standards, royalty payments, environmental impact assessments, inspection or compliance — means that whatever happens next will take the ISA into unchartered territory.

The organization is “sleepwalking into a legally uncertain situation,” Ambassador Hugo Verbist, head of Belgium’s delegation, told the ISA Council on Friday as the organization’s 36-nation policymaking body concluded more than two weeks of negotiations in Kingston, Jamaica.

For the rest of this article: