Deep sea mining

Miner loses robot deep in the Pacific

A Belgian company, Global Sea Mineral Resources, has been trialling a robot prototype, Patania II, in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, which lies between Hawaii and Mexico.

The machine is meant to collect the potato-sized nodules rich in cobalt, and other metals used in batteries, that pepper the seabed in this area.

It was connected to a ship with a five-kilometre cable, but the company says it has come free and is now resting on the seafloor.

An operation to reconnect it is under way.

Seabed mining in the Pacific is environmentally and economically vital - Editorial

Despite our negligible contribution to global emissions, our people are uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Rising seas and more frequent extreme weather have left the future of our blue economies in the balance.

As we celebrate World Ocean Day, we reaffirm our intent to conserve and sustainably use the ocean, while also recognising the part it plays in our future economic viability. As states whose history has been shaped by responsible stewardship of the ocean, seabed mining is a welcome and exciting development.

Deep sea mining a possibility, but could harm Tonga’s tourism industry, warns ministry CEO

However, there have been warnings that mining the seabed could cause environmental problems and could harm Tonga’s whale watching industry.

Paula Ma’u, CEO of the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications, said eight ministries were developing a plan to sustain the ocean around the kingdom.

“We are still at the exploration stage only now as far as deep sea mining is concerned,” Ma’u said.

Deep sea minerals frameworks to inform decision-making

They are the latest information resources developed for stakeholders interested in this emerging sector through the European Union-supported Deep Sea Minerals Project, implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).

Cost benefit analysis of deep sea mining in Pacific released

The report aims to assist Pacific Island countries with their decision making concerning deep sea minerals and provide information about the potential magnitude of the impacts of deep sea mining.

Pacific countries discuss options for deep sea minerals

Effective management of this revenue will be critical to ensure that long term benefits are realised.

Through the European Union Deep Sea Minerals Project, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is partnering with the International Monetary Fund and the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre to hold a workshop in Nadi this week (24-27 August) that focuses on the management of revenue emanating from deep sea minerals development.