Swiss Re, first insurer to exclude deep sea mining


Swiss Re has become the first insurer to exclude deep sea mining.

One of the world’s biggest reinsurers Swiss Re joins a growing number of global financiers rejecting the unnecessary and potentially catastrophic industry of deep sea mining.

The new policy appears in their updated approach to underwriting on minerals and states: “Based on key sustainability risks identified for this sector, for direct or facultative re/insurance transactions, Swiss Re does not support activities: … That retrieve mineral deposits from the deep seabed (eg deep-sea mining projects).”

Andy Whitmore, Deep Sea Mining Campaign’s finance advocacy officer noted:

“Financiers globally are waking up to the potential risks of commercial deep sea mining. The insurance industry, as the ultimate backstop for risks, needs to pay particular attention.”

“The Deep Sea Mining Campaign welcomes the Swiss Re policy. As a reinsurer, the company provides financial cover for high-risk insurance. Swiss Re’s new policy should lead to increased premiums for any reinsurance, which is yet another red flag for all would-be investors in deep sea mining.”

“We anticipate that Swiss Re will be just the first of many insurers to react to the financial and environmental risks of deep sea mining.”

Dr. Helen Rosenbaum, Deep Sea Mining Campaign’s research advocacy coordinator stated:

“These risks include those associated with liability for damage to existing ocean industries such as commercial and artisanal fisheries, and the many forms of ocean-based tourism.”

“There is already a lack of social licence for deep sea mining across the Pacific and the mining industry is no stranger to upheavals created by operating without the free prior and informed consent of communities.”

“Opposition includes civil society and churches, Pacific Island countries and the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) calling for bans and/or a moratorium on deep sea mining in national and international waters.”

“Whilst the science on deep sea mining is still emerging it does indicate that the impacts will be long-term, and many will be irreversible in human time frames. Modelling demonstrates serious transboundary pollution with a serious risk of liabilities.”

Concluded Dr. Rosenbaum.


For more information

Andy Whitmore, +44 7754 395597,
Dr Helen Rosenbaum, +61 413 201 793,