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“Deep-Sea Mining: An Environmental Solution Or Impending Catastrophe?”

“A new report by the Deep Sea Mining Campaign and MiningWatch Canada examines the potential risks of seabed mining operations targeting polymetallic nodules: rock concretions that harbor minerals like manganese, nickel, cobalt and copper.

While deep-sea mining has not started in any part of the world, 16 international mining companies have contracts to explore the seabed for minerals within the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ) in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, and other companies have contracts to explore for nodules in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific Ocean.

The report suggests that polymetallic nodule mining would negatively impact ecosystems, biodiversity, fisheries, and the social and economic dimensions of Pacific island nations, and that this mining requires a precautionary approach. Mining companies, on the other hand, say nodule mining is less destructive than land mining, and that mining operations can benefit Pacific island nations socially and economically.

Mining companies also say polymetallic nodule mining is necessary to provide the minerals needed for renewable energy technologies, while opponents say these minerals can be extracted from land sources, including recycled electronics.”

Elizabeth Claire Alberts reports for Mongabay June 16, 2020.