A rush to mine the deep ocean has environmentalists worried

Posted: December 4, 2021 by oldbrew in Big Green, Energy
Tags: ,

Seabed mining

Trying to replace high-energy coal, gas, and oil with lower energy alternatives to pacify climate obsessives has various drawbacks. One of these is an endless need for huge amounts of minerals, metals etc. that have to be mined from somewhere, which can of course be messy to say the least.
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In a large building overlooking the sea in Kingston, Jamaica, national members of a little known international organisation are meeting for contentious talks that could open up the planet’s deep seabed to mining as soon as July 2023, says Climate Home News.

The ocean floor is rich in mineral deposits, which could provide raw materials to manufacture batteries for electric cars, solar panels and wind turbines.

Prospective mining companies see a lucrative opportunity to turbocharge the energy transition.

Yet the cold, dark and inaccessible deep sea is home to a vast array of life, which scientists are just beginning to discover.

Areas of commercial interest are turning out to be some of “the most biodiverse places on Earth,” Diva Amon, a marine biologist from Trinidad and Tobago, told Climate Home News, with 70-90% of the species discovered there never seen before.

Too little is known about the oceans’ deep, its biodiversity and the role it plays in storing carbon to fully understand the impacts the nascent industry will have, Amon said.

“Whatever way you look at it, mining is going to be very destructive in the deep ocean. It’s certain to say that this will be irreversible damage.”

Yet, the International Seabed Authority (ISA), which regulates mining activities in international waters, is convening from Monday to consider a roadmap for negotiating extraction rules.

Continued here.

  1. […] A rush to mine the deep ocean has environmentalists worried […]

  2. Graeme No.3 says:

    Mining the deep sea would be costly, so to provide minerals on the scale necessary to meet the fantasies of the Alarmists would require vast amounts of money. Such activity would require a huge increase in the price of those minerals.
    Paying for other people’s fantasies is alway expensive.

  3. tom0mason says:

    “Whatever way you look at it, mining is going to be very destructive in the deep ocean. It’s certain to say that this will be irreversible damage.”
    In terms of human lifetimes that’s probably true that it is destructive. Also there may be natural processes that make such effects from theses mining activities reversible.
    In terms of geological time periods it’s unknown, at best probably incorrect on all counts.

  4. stpaulchuck says:

    Nauru is driving this. They were mining a million years of old bird poop (as phosphates) and apparently have got it down to the bone. They have zero other income sources.

    The island is a minuscule chunk of rock sitting in the middle of nowhere. I know I’ve been there. It’s so isolated they had to buy their own airline flown by Kiwis. The people are generally lazy and low education because they had the poop money coming in and everyone got a share to spend on muumuus, beer, and canned fish. The waters around there might be good fishing but they no longer have the skills or the boats.

    There’s a secondary issue of a mining company that needed to push the licensing issue to get an IPO going even if it’s pie in the sky. Read the linkout for full view of what’s going on. I don’t see any company making a profit on this without massive damage to the sea floor with vacuums or dredges. I’ve been watching this idea for nearly 50 years and no one has produced a viable retrieval device/machine that would be profitable.

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