The Race to Mine the Bottom of the Ocean

The race to mine the bottom of the ocean

We have a lot to gain — and a lot to lose — from deep-sea mining.
There are metallic deposits scattered throughout our ocean floors — among hydrothermal vents, under the crust of seamounts, and scattered along sea plains in the form of rocks. As it happens, in our search for climate solutions, these metals have become more critical than ever to help us transition away from fossil fuels. We need them for everything like electric car batteries, copper wiring for electrification and wind turbines. Our land-based deposits have met our needs so far, but it’s unclear whether they will continue to, or whether we’ll want to keep destroying the environment to do so.

This video explains the history and the debate over mining metals in the deep sea and why one Canadian company, The Metals Company, is leading the rush there. There are huge environmental implications for digging up seafloor ecosystems as well as ethical ones: Metal-rich zones like the Clarion-Clipperton Zone lie in international waters that technically belong to everyone. A United Nations body located in Kingston, Jamaica, the International Seabed Authority, is faced with an urgent dilemma over how to regulate mining, whether the environmental harm is worth the benefits to solving our climate crisis, and how to fairly share the profits from this shared resource.

Correction: at 7:45, the company rang the opening bell at Nasdaq not New York Stock Exchange.
Credit to : Vox

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