Date: June 24, 2021


Calls for a Moratorium

An article published in Bloomberg today (24 June) underlines the risks posed by the emerging deep-sea mining industry to the environment, developing countries in the Pacific and beyond, and investors. Critically, it highlights the threat to the deep ocean and the important services it provides, standing between humanity and the worst impacts of climate breakdown. 

The article points to previously undisclosed agreements between DeepGreen and developing Island States and highlights the company’s mis-characterization of the biodiversity of the deep ocean and the impacts of mining if allowed to proceed. In reality, the deep sea is a thriving ecosystem rich in biodiversity that plays a vital function on our planet. The area of the high seas in the Pacific Ocean where DeepGreen wants to mine is recognized by scientists as one of the most biologically diverse deep-sea areas of the planet.

The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) says that the member countries of the ISA should now wake up and halt the drive to start deep-sea mining. It is clear that the science, the social license, the transparency and the need for deep sea metals is not there. 

Matthew Gianni of the DSCC, which is calling for a moratorium on mining in the deep ocean said:

This is further evidence, if it were needed, that countries need to put the brakes on the ISA’s plans to open the deep ocean, one of the last great frontiers on our planet, to large-scale industrial mining. There are serious questions to be answered, not least by the ISA which is responsible for entering into contracts with companies seeking to exploit the deep sea, our global commons.

Taholo Kami, Pacific Island environmentalist said:

This is not about green growth, the good of the Islands, or natural solutions; this is about exploitation of vulnerable Pacific Island countries and short-term gain for a corporation based in Canada and their Swiss, Danish and American investors. Deep-sea mining can be destructive to an ocean already under severe threat. An immediate moratorium is needed to ensure our countries can make the right decisions for a healthy ocean that sustains our people and our way of life.

Posted on Categories Mining