As the world gathers to discuss the perils of deep-sea mining, a Vancouver-based company is forging ahead – by Wendy Stueck (Globe and Mail – July 10, 2023)

As an international body meets Monday to discuss deep-sea mining, the debate around the practice is growing louder, with conservation groups calling for a moratorium and a Vancouver-based proponent saying it hopes to be mining in 2024.

Those competing visions will be front and centre in Kingston, Jamaica, where the International Seabed Authority is scheduled to hold meetings that will largely focus on this issue until July 28.

Established under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and a follow-up implementation agreement in 1994, the ISA has a mandate to regulate international waters – and the minerals those waters contain – for the benefit of humankind. Individual countries may authorize deep-sea mining in their own jurisdictions.

The ISA has developed regulations for mineral exploration in international waters, and over the past two decades, has been working on a mining code that would regulate mineral extraction. Those efforts had been moving slowly, reflecting the complexity of international marine law. And even as interest grew in extracting minerals, so did concern about how deep-sea mining could affect marine life and ocean health.

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