exploitation and extraction of metals and minerals from the ocean floor




What is deep sea mining and where is it happening?

Why the fuss? What will the impacts be?

Is deep sea mining needed for the 'green' transition? What are the alternatives?



31 Exploration Licences

Under 2 years to stop deep sea mining before it gets started

The deep sea — usually defined as the realm below 200 metres — is a world of extremes. Temperatures near the seabed in many places hover near 0 °C where there is next to no light and pressures can exceed 1,000 bars – equivalent to having a couple of elephants standing on your big toe.

Despite this life in the deep seas thrives. The deep sea contains a vast array of ecosystems that researchers have barely begun to study.

Whilst there is currently no deep sea mining project in operation there is an intense and growing interest in minerals exploration both in national and international waters.

This is occurring in the context of already severe threats to ocean resilience, including climate change, over-fishing and pollution.

The world’s oceans provide livelihoods, food security, cultural and spiritual connections for millions of people.

Several companies are aggressively pursuing deep sea mining across the Pacific region. This is characterised by a lack of transparency, vested interests, and not adhering to the principles of free, prior and informed consent and the precautionary principle.

Over the last decade, these commercial actors have rapidly created machines for extracting minerals and metals from the deep seabed. But they have done so in the absence of research, regulations, environmental protections, and civil society consent. Financing, engineering, and public relations have been allowed to outrun science, law, community rights and policy.