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

VIDEO: Deep-sea miner stock jumps after first seafloor collection since 1970s – by Staff ( – October 12, 2022)

Shares in The Metals Company (NASDAQ: TMC) jumped on Wednesday after the company said it completed its first collection run of polymetallic nodules more than four kilometres below the surface of the Pacific ocean.

The Vancouver-based company said its production vessel, the Hidden Gem, collected an initial batch of seafloor nodules and transported it up a 4.3km-long riser system to the surface, “in what represents the first integrated system test conducted in the Clarion Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean since the 1970s.”

Read more

Wealth in the water: the face-off over deep-sea mining in Oceania – by Giles Crosse (Mining Technology – September 22, 2022)

The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is tasked with effectively protecting the world’s deepest seas and most alien environments, and the body is granting an increasing number of exploration permits to research institutes and private companies alike.

Many of the companies’ efforts are aimed at the Clarion-Clipperton zone in the South Pacific, where fist-sized polymetallic nodules often contain valuable rare earth minerals, and have become an attractive prospect for miners.

Read more

Pacific Islands remain divided on deep-sea mining as trial begins to extract precious metals from ocean floor – by Marian Faa and Jordan Fennell (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – September 14, 2022)

Electric robots will soon be crawling along the sea floor and sucking up precious metals through a giant straw in a controversial trial to mine some of the ocean’s deepest, most pristine environments.

Deep-sea mining operator The Metals Company has been granted approval by the International Seabed Authority to begin testing its collection system in Pacific waters. It will be the first time since the 1970s that this has been allowed to occur.

Read more

Pressure is on to start mining the deep sea. Is it worth it? – by Lisa Johnson (CBC News Climate – September 4, 2022)

Vancouver-based The Metals Company wants to be 1st to mine sea floor for critical minerals

A battle is brewing over the future of the ocean floor that pits the fate of this little-known ecosystem against humanity’s demand for critical minerals — and a Vancouver company is leading the charge.

The Metals Company (TMC), formerly known as DeepGreen Metals, wants to mine potato-sized rocks known as polymetallic nodules, which contain metals in demand for electric vehicles, solar panels and more.

Read more

Mind this deep sea mining – by Glenn Tucker (Jamaica Observer – August 22, 2022)

Jamaican News Online – the Best of Jamaican Newspapers

It has been announced that deep sea mining is scheduled to start in Jamaican waters soon. There are some muted expressions of concern from the usual quarters. And with good reason.

Earth’s mass is 6.6 sextillion tonnes. Its volume is about 260 billion cubic miles. The total surface of the Earth is about 197 million square miles. About 71 per cent of our planet is covered by water and just 29 per cent by land. Only three per cent of this water is fresh water.

Read more

Deep sea mining not worth the risk – by Theresa Rodriguez-Moodie (Jamaica Gleaner – August 14, 2022)

Theresa Rodriguez-Moodie, PhD, is an environmental scientist and the CEO of the Jamaica Environment Trust.

Scientists today know more about space than about the deep sea. This ecosystem is the largest on the planet, comprising over 90 per cent of the marine environment. In 1970, the deep sea was declared the ‘Common Heritage of Mankind’ to be preserved for peaceful purposes.

In spite of this recognition, mining this fragile and critically important environment could begin as early as 2023. The impacts of deep sea mining (DSM) have the potential to be devastating and global.

Read more

Governments Turn Against Deep-Sea Mining as EV Boom Drives Demand for Metals – by Todd Woody (Bloomberg News – July18, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — As battery makers scramble to procure cobalt, nickel and other metals to meet rising consumer demand for electric cars, governmental opposition to strip-mining the seabed for minerals is mounting.

The deep ocean contains the largest estimated deposits of minerals on the planet, potentially worth trillions of dollars. But in recent weeks, Chile, Fiji, Palau and other nations have called for a moratorium on ocean mining until there is a better understanding of the environmental consequences of destroying little-explored and unique deep-sea ecosystems that play an undetermined role in the global climate.

Read more

CSIRO joins deep-sea mining project in Pacific as islands call for industry halt – by Graham Readfearn (The Guardian – July 14, 2022)

Agency to lead consortium in scheme targeting battery materials while conservationists say Australia on ‘wrong side of debate’

Australia’s national science agency, the CSIRO, has agreed to work with a controversial deep-sea mining project in the Pacific as a fourth island nation joins a call for a moratorium on the industry.

CSIRO will lead a consortium of scientists from Australia and New Zealand to help the Metals Company (TMC) develop an environmental management plan for its project, which is backed by the Nauru government.

Read more

Mining the deep sea for battery materials will be dangerously noisy, study finds – by Justine Calma (The Verge – July 7, 2022)

The race is on to figure out how to protect the ocean abyss as deep-sea mining operations look to extract minerals like nickel, cobalt, and copper from the sea floor. But there’s one potential risk to the deep-sea environment that tends to fall under the radar.

Not only will mining dredge up the seafloor, but it’ll also create a lot of noise that poses its own problems for marine life, according to a newly published paper in the journal Science.

Read more

Race to the Bottom: Deep Sea Mining Is the Next Frontier – by Christina Lu (Foreign Policy – June 26, 2022)


The untapped trove of metals on the ocean floor might be the key to a greener future—or an environmental catastrophe.

To power the energy revolution, nations have stripped their lands for the metals crucial to build everything from Teslas to wind turbines. The hunt for cobalt has left a trail of pollution and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo while Zambia’s copper mining industry has poisoned nearby rivers. In nickel-rich Indonesia, mining has generated enough runoff to dye the country’s waters red.

Many countries have now set their sights on a new market: the deep ocean floor. These depths potentially hold an untapped trove of metals—nickel, cobalt, copper, and manganese—tucked into polymetallic nodules, potato-shaped deposits that are millions of years old. Mining these riches, they say, is the key to a greener future. Some are already fiddling with the lock.

Read more

Opinion: The Undersea Trove for Electric Vehicles – by Dennis Blair (Wall Street Journal – June 2, 2022)

Mr. Blair, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, is a former director of national intelligence and commander of U.S. Pacific Command. He is chairman of SAFE, an energy-security organization.

President Biden recently invoked the Defense Production Act to boost supplies of the minerals needed to power electric vehicles and reduce America’s oil dependency. Yet, even with this welcome executive action, the U.S. can’t produce enough of some minerals, such as nickel.

America must rely on undependable, often hostile foreign-controlled sources for these key materials. There is an alternative: finding politically safe, economically viable and ecologically responsible ways to get these minerals somewhere else, including the depths of the oceans.

Read more