Deep sea mining

Divisions deepen over rush to finalise deep sea mining rules…
A growing number of countries are demanding more time to decide on rules that would allow companies to mine the deep seabed for minerals needed to manufacture batteries for the energy transition.

Last year, the small island state of Nauru, triggered a never-before-used procedure giving the International Seabed Authority (ISA), the UN body which regulates mining activities in international waters, until July 2023 to fast-track deep sea mining exploitation rules. Countries have discussed mining the bottom of the oceans for years but no commercial extraction has started in international waters. The ultimatum would allow the nascent industry to apply for mining permits as soon as next year…

During three weeks of meetings at the ISA’s headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica, which ended last week, some member states issued multiple calls for a discussion on the implication of the two-year ultimatum to be added to the agenda…But the ISA secretary and officials refused to add the issue to the official agenda, stripping the body’s 167 member states of the ability to meet and express their views before the deadline next year.


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