Underwater power play for metals in full swing – by Alisha Hiyate (Northern Miner – May 2024)


Despite its stranglehold on mining and processing, there’s one arena of critical minerals that China doesn’t control – underwater resources. No one does, as deep sea mining has yet to begin. But it’s not the sci-fi fantasy it once may have seemed.

The International Seabed Authority (ISA), which next meets in July, is hashing out the world’s first underwater mining code. Deep sea mining could technically begin as soon as July, even in the absence of rules which the ISA aims to have in place by 2025.

That’s because in 2021, ISA member Nauru triggered a two-year countdown for the body to either solidify regulations, or to allow mining with whatever guidance is in place. The island nation is the sponsor state for exploration licences held by the world’s most advanced seafloor miner in waiting, The Metals Company.

The NASDAQ-listed company plans to apply for a licence to “mine” seafloor polymetallic nodules, rich in cobalt, nickel, copper and manganese, this year. It hopes to start collecting the nodules using its robotic seafloor machinery in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, a region of the Pacific Ocean that lies between Hawaii and Mexico, by late 2025.

For the rest of this editorial: https://www.northernminer.com/editorial/underwater-power-play-for-metals-in-full-swing/1003866984/