Deep-sea News (4-11 September)

Date: September 13, 2023

Check out the top stories from the deep, taken from coverage between 4-11 September 2023

Pacific alliance adopts moratorium on deep-sea mining, halting resurgent PNG project

Source: Mongabay

Author: John Cannon

A moratorium on deep-sea mining established by a group of Pacific island nations – the Melanesian Spearhead Group – has struck a blow to the Solwara 1 project in Papua New Guinea, once poised to be the first country in the world to mine the deep sea, and its operator, Canada-based Nautilus Minerals.

The Solwara 1 project’s aim is to target gold and copper found in what are known as seafloor massive sulfide deposits that accumulate around hydrothermal vents, according to the website of Deep Sea Mining Finance Limited.

Will Deep-sea Mining Help Fuel Renewable Energy?

Source: List Solar

While deep-sea mining offers the potential for a sustainable energy source, it must not come at the expense of our precious ecosystems and the global environment.

One particular concern is the possible disturbance inflicted upon marine life, predominantly in the forms of noise and light pollution, which could directly result from deep sea mining activities.


Source: Responsible Investor

Deep-sea mining has been excluded from use of proceeds under a guide for blue bonds published by a coalition of the International Capital Markets Association, UN agencies and multilateral development banks decided on Wednesday.

The new guidance draws on a series of other guides, principles and frameworks published by the individual organisations. It defines a blue bond as a use of proceeds bond issued to finance project supporting the sustainable blue economy. The move reflects investor uncertainty over how to deal with the topic. Deep-sea mining has the capacity to devastate ecosystems, generate pollution, and release carbon stored in seafloor sediments.

‘It’s bloody El Dorado’: Undersea riches to be reaped by the few

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

Author: Sherryn Groch

Over decades of negotiation, high-value areas of this seabed have been set aside for developing countries. Now the UN is poised to open these waters to mining. But an investigation by this source has found that only a small group of companies are likely to reap the greatest rewards.

International Seabed Authority (ISA) observers including NGO environmental lawyer Duncan Currie say many country delegations received “suggested talking points” from the secretariat encouraging them to raise the urgent need for battery metals during council debate on the code, in an apparent attempt to influence deliberations. “Especially countries new to the ISA,” says Currie. “The dot points they were given all steer the debate towards the need for mining.”

Can people really say that deep-sea mining is for the benefit of mankind? Deals intended to give poorer countries a stake in mining have instead put companies in control.

Election 2023: Green oceans policy – ban on fishing trawling seamounts, biosecurity boost

Source: NZ Herald

Author: Michael Neilson

The Greens are promising a near-immediate ban on fishing trawling in vast swathes of New Zealand waters and a boost to biosecurity if part of the next Government.

The policies are part of a wider oceans package co-leader Marama Davidson is unveiling, one of which is to ban bottom trawling. The Green Party policy would ban trawling on all features above 100 metres within the EEZ. New Zealand is the only country in the South Pacific that currently allows trawling on these features. Such a policy is likely to face strong opposition from the fishing industry, which has proposed protection measures in seamount areas but only those above 1000m and that have not been fished before.

Posted on Categories Climate General Mining