Climate Change Negotiations – UNFCCC, COP, Other Conventions and Protocols

UN allows Deep Sea Mining operations from July


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Deep Sea Mining

Mains level: Not Much


Central idea: The International Seabed Authority has announced that it will start accepting applications from companies for deep sea mining from July.

Why in news?

  • This decision was made in the absence of a mining code that has not been put in place yet.

What is Deep Sea Mining?

  • Deep-sea mining is the process of extracting minerals from the deep ocean floor.
  • The minerals that are extracted can include valuable metals such as copper, gold, nickel, and manganese, as well as rare earth metals that are used in high-tech devices such as smartphones, computers, and electric vehicles.
  • The minerals are found in the form of polymetallic nodules that are located on the ocean floor at depths of around 4 to 6 kilometers.
  • Deep-sea mining involves the use of specially designed equipment that can withstand the extreme pressure and temperature conditions found at these depths.

About International Seabed Authority

  • The International Seabed Authority is a Jamaica-based organization established under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • The authority holds jurisdiction over the ocean floors outside of the Exclusive Economic Zones of its 167 member states.

Reasons behind undersea mining

  • The mining is aimed at extracting cobalt, copper, nickel, and manganese from the ocean’s floor.
  • The undersea mining will extract key battery materials from polymetallic nodules found at depths of 4 kilometers to 6 kilometers.
  • These nodules are potato-sized rocks containing cobalt, copper, nickel, and manganese.

Key concern: Mining code missing

  • Despite 10 years of discussion, there is no mining code in place.
  • The governing council of ISA is uncertain about the process it should adopt for reviewing applications for mining contracts.

Issues with deep-sea mining

  • Deep-sea mining is a controversial issue that has raised concerns among non-governmental organizations, experts, and some countries.
  • One major concern is the potential damage to the seabed and the essential function of deep-sea ecosystems in regulating the climate.
  • Mining activities can also have wider impacts on fish populations, marine mammals, and other ocean life.

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India’s Deep Ocean Mission

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1 year ago

It is an important decision of United States when the resources are becoming rare. Some mining games on cubes 2048 show that.


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