The deep sea mining debate is “gone” — it’s happening, says The Metals Company CEO – by Bruno Venditti ( – April 11, 2023)

Despite opposition from environmental groups, the CEO of The Metals Company (TMC) which has exclusive access to the Nori Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ) polymetallic project, located 4,000 metres deep in the northeastern Pacific Ocean and ranked as the world’s biggest undeveloped nickel project, sees deep sea mining happening by the end of 2024.

Mining international waters is in the spotlight as companies and countries are looking at minerals concentrated on the ocean floor that can be used in batteries for smart phones and electric vehicles.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Deep-sea mining for rare metals will destroy ecosystems, say scientists – by Robin McKie (The Guardian – March 26, 2023)

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.

Read more

China to step up deep sea mining efforts – by Frik Els ( – March 14, 2023)

China Daily reports that the country will make renewed efforts to join the race to mine the deep sea for critical minerals. The English language government-run paper says China lags behind the West in terms of research, technology and hardware for seabed mining which it calls “a new frontier for international competition.”

Ye Cong of Wuxi-based China Ship Scientific Research Center, a subsidiary of the China State Shipbuilding Corp, said mining the metals found in nodules on the seafloor – mainly nickel, copper, cobalt and manganese – will “help us reduce the heavy reliance on foreign suppliers”.

Read more

Seabed Mining Will Help Break China’s Grip on Critical Minerals – by Tom LaTourrette (Real Clear World – November 18, 2023)

Tom LaTourrette is a senior physical scientist and interim director of the Community Health and Environmental Policy program at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation. The views expressed are the author’s own.

China dominates global supply chains for nearly all critical mineral resources. Especially important are elements such as nickel, cobalt, lithium, copper, and the rare earths that power decarbonization technologies such as batteries, electric motors, and turbines. The rapidly increasing demand for these minerals has rekindled interest in extracting polymetallic nodules from the deep seabed.

China controls the supply of these resources through extraction, either within its borders (especially in the case of rare earths) or through ownership of critical foreign mineral resources (for example, cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo).

Read more

Why has a Canadian company partnered with the tiny island of Nauru to fast-track deep-sea mining? – by Joanna Chiu (Toronto Star – February 21, 2023)

Brown-black discharge gushed out of a pipe from a hulking ship, dispersing murky clouds of sediment into the international waters of the Pacific Ocean.

The scene, captured in a video that’s garnered international attention, turned a spotlight to a controversial Canadian company that is poised to become the first in the world to extract critical metals from the ocean floor — with the help of a tiny island in Micronesia.

Read more

Concerns, Impatience Over Mining World’s Seabeds (Voice of America/Agence France-Press – February 19, 2023)

UNITED NATIONS — The prospect of large-scale mining to extract valuable minerals from the depths of the Pacific Ocean, once a distant vision, has grown more real, raising alarms among the oceans’ most fervent defenders.

“I think this is a real and imminent risk,” Emma Wilson of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, an umbrella organization of environmental groups and scientific bodies, told AFP. “There are plenty of stakeholders that are flagging the significant environmental risks.”

Read more

NEWS RELEASE: Statement on Seabed Mining (Natural Resource Canada – February 9, 2023)

VANCOUVER, BC, Feb. 9, 2023 /CNW/ – The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, released a statement confirming Canada’s position on seabed mining:

The protection, conservation, restoration, and sustainable and equitable use of the global ocean is essential for all life on earth, and we must continue to safeguard its integrity and connectivity. Canada will continue to lead global and national efforts toward enhancing the protection and restoration of vulnerable marine ecosystems and wildlife, including through active international engagement to improve oceans governance.

Read more

‘Aquaman’ warns Sundance of deep-sea mining peril (France 24 – January 21, 2023)

Park City (United States) (AFP) – He is best known as hunky, sea-dwelling superhero “Aquaman,” but actor Jason Momoa brought a stark and sober warning about the perils of deep-sea mining to the Sundance film festival on Friday.

The Hawaiian-born A-lister narrates “Deep Rising,” a new documentary about the frenzied efforts by resource-hungry corporations to scrape valuable metals from vast swathes of the Pacific floor.

Supporters of deep-sea mining claim that pellets of nickel and cobalt — used in electric car batteries — can be conveniently scooped off the seabed, helping reduce our fossil fuel reliance.

Read more

Deep seabed mining plans pit renewable energy demand against ocean life in a largely unexplored frontier – by Scott Shackelford, Christiana Ochoa, David Bosco and Kerry Krutilla (The Conversation – January 17, 2023)

As companies race to expand renewable energy and the batteries to store it, finding sufficient amounts of rare earth metals to build the technology is no easy feat. That’s leading mining companies to take a closer look at a largely unexplored frontier – the deep ocean seabed.

A wealth of these metals can be found in manganese nodules that look like cobblestones scattered across wide areas of deep ocean seabed. But the fragile ecosystems deep in the oceans are little understood, and the mining codes to sustainably mine these areas are in their infancy. A fierce debate is now playing out as a Canadian company makes plans to launch the first commercial deep sea mining operation in the Pacific Ocean.

Read more

Deep Sea Mining: The Biggest Climate Issue You’ve Never Heard Of – by Renee Grogan (Forbes Magazine – December 2022)

Renee Grogan is the cofounder and chief sustainability officer at Impossible Metals.

The noise around carbon emissions reduction and the transition to a green economy is deafening, particularly as we observe the progress of COP27. As a result, it can be hard to get a feel for what is going well and what isn’t.

Except when leaders from Pacific nations address COP standing in several feet of water that wasn’t there a few years ago—that seems to send a pretty clear message that whatever’s happening, it’s not really happening fast enough. In the context of this busy and noisy space, deep-sea mining might be one of the biggest issues you’ve never heard about.

Read more

France Puts Future of Deep Sea Mining in Doubt – by Todd Woody (Bloomberg News – November 10, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — Citing climate change, France on Thursday called for an international ban on deep sea mining, upending negotiations by a UN-affiliated organization to allow the exploitation of unique ocean ecosystems for valuable metals to begin within two years.

“As the effects of climate change become increasingly threatening and the erosion of biodiversity continues to accelerate, today it does not seem reasonable to hastily launch a new project, that of deep seabed mining, the environmental impacts of which are not yet known and may be significant for such ancient ecosystems which have a very delicate equilibrium,” French Ambassador Olivier Guyonvarch told the International Seabed Authority at a meeting of its policymaking Council in Kingston, Jamaica.

Read more

More Governments Are Turning Against the Rush to Mine the Deep Sea – by Todd Woody (Bloomberg News – November 7, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — As world leaders gather at the United Nations climate summit in Egypt this week, another international meeting is underway in Jamaica to decide the fate of the planet’s oceans.

The UN-affiliated International Seabed Authority is convening in Kingston to fast-track regulations that could allow the mining of fragile and biodiverse deep sea ecosystems for valuable metals as soon as 2024.

Read more

Australian mining magnate Forrest calls for ban on seabed mining – (Reuters – November 8, 2022)

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Fortescue Metals (FMG.AX) executive chairman Andrew Forrest on Tuesday said his charitable foundation is in favour of a pause on seabed mining, the first time a prominent mining executive has spoken out against the nascent industry.

Forrest said the Minderoo Foundation, which he and his wife Nicola fund with the dividends they get from Fortescue, will back a pause until there’s sufficient evidence that damage to ocean environments can be prevented.

Read more