Call for an international moratorium on deep seabed mining

Date: August 14, 2014

Source: Deep Sea Mining campaign

NGOs from Australia, Canada and India call for an international moratorium on deep seabed mining in light of the International Seabed Authority’s (ISA) issuing of 7 exploration licences for deep seabed mining in international waters.

Natalie Lowrey, spokesperson, Deep Sea Mining campaign, “The granting of these licences flies in the face of the precautionary principle. There is insufficient scientific data to understand the impacts of deep sea mining, there are no regulatory frameworks in place to govern mining operations and the capacity to enforce such frameworks does not yet exist. The issuing of exploration licenses must cease until these issues are addressed.”

The 7 new exploration licenses have been granted to: UK Seabed Resources, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin the world’s biggest defense company; the Government of India; Russian Ministry of Natural Resources; Brazil’s Companhia de Pesquisa de Recursos Minerias; Ocean Mineral Singapore; Germany Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources; and Cook Islands Investment Corporation.[1]

Sreedhar Ramamurthi, Chairperson, mines minerals & PEOPLE, India said, “The issue of deep sea mining is not just for scientists and mining companies, the debate has to be much bigger. Is it morally viable? Is it environmentally sustainable? What is going to happen to the waste? What are the economic, social and cultural impacts on local populations in the areas they want to mine? They are the same questions whether you are mining in the deep sea or on land.”

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