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Mining the deep


The regulatory body for deep sea mining is under pressure to accept mining applications, but what are the risks?


The clock is ticking for the International Seabed Authority, the regulatory body for deep sea mining, which will need to begin considering applications for commercial mining from July 9.

It comes after Nauru pulled a so-called two-year trigger in 2021, meaning the Pacific Island nation intends to submit plans to mine for critical minerals such as cobalt in the international seabed between Hawaii and Mexico.

Deep sea mining is a relatively new field and there are currently no official laws surrounding it.

The trigger means the Seabed Authority will have to consider Nauru’s application, regardless of whether it has finalised laws to protect the seabed or not.

While the consequences of full-scale mining are still unknown, it will likely affect ocean-dependent communities the most, particularly across the Pacific where mining opportunities are being explored.

In this special report, the experts investigate the potential environmental and social impacts of deep sea mining — on the supply chain, the fisheries industry and for those who rely on the ocean for food, livelihoods and culture.

Originally published under Creative Commons by 360info™.

Editors Note: In the story “Mining the deep” sent at: 03/07/2023 07:49.

This is a corrected repeat.

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Tasha Wibawa
Commissioning Editor, 360info Asia-Pacific