Seabed Mining: The 30 People Who Could Decide the Fate of the Deep Ocean

As the International Seabed Authority moves to permit the mining of unique deep-sea habitats, calls grow for it to disclose secretive deliberations about the environmental consequences of extracting valuable minerals from the ocean floor.

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As the International Seabed Authority moves to permit the mining of unique deep-sea habitats, calls grow for it to disclose secretive deliberations about the environmental consequences of extracting valuable minerals from the ocean floor. Written by Todd Woody Published on  Sep. 6, 2017 Read time Approx. 20 minutes Seabed mining ihc nodule test vehicle An artist’s rendering of a deep-sea vehicle designed by Dutch company IHC to harvest polymetallic nodules from the seabed. Image: Royal IHC

TODD WOODY on OCEANS DEEPLY | 6 September 2017

KINGSTON, Jamaica – At the International Seabed Authority’s ocean-side headquarters, delegates from dozens of countries stroll through breezeways adorned with the works of Jamaican artists as the United Nations-chartered organization’s annual meeting begins its second week. No one, however, is entering a conference room where the seabed authority’s Legal and Technical Commission is in session and men in dark suits stand watch. A sign advises that the meeting is “closed.”

Behind heavy wood doors, the 30 members of the Commission are convening in secret to discuss, among other things, confidential contracts issued to corporations and state-backed companies to explore and potentially mine vast, barely explored deep-sea habitats that scientists believe play a key role in the global ecosystem. The seabed is thought to be rich in deposits of cobalt, copper, manganese, gold and rare elements essential for making smartphones, solar panels and other indispensable products of modern life.”

Read the full article on Oceans Deeply