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Jul 25, 2019

Seabed mining is coming — bringing mineral riches and fears of epic extinctions

Posted by in categories: business, existential risks, sustainability, transportation

Now, it seems this nascent industry’s time has come. A growing demand for batteries to power electric cars and to store wind and solar energy has driven up the cost of many rare-earth metals and bolstered the business case for sea-bed mining. What’s more, the industry’s long-awaited regulations — in the form of a mining code — are due to be finalized by 2020, putting in place a process whereby contractors can apply for 30-year licences to mine assigned ‘claim areas’ in parts of the international sea bed such as the CCZ. Already, miners are exploring the potential wealth of these claim areas, but no commercial extraction will begin until the regulations are in place. Investments in this industry are now growing.


Plans are advancing to harvest precious ores from the ocean floor, but scientists say that companies have not tested them enough to avoid devastating damage.

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