Deep Sea Mining Environmental Impacts

We are proud to contribute to society’s knowledge of the deep ocean, which is our responsibility under the International Seabed Authority regime. Our team is currently collecting data to create a baseline understanding of the chemical and physical characteristics of the seabed and ocean down to 4.5km in our exploration areas, and we are beginning to put together a fuller picture of the species that live there and what they do.

At the same time we are engineering technologies to collect polymetallic nodules and are using the baseline studies (and future ongoing research) to propose collection techniques that will avoid disruption to the ecosystem where ever possible and when disruption is not avoidable we are working to develop mitigation measures. We are still at the beginning of this industry and have a lot to learn, but it will all come together in a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement for consideration by the ISA, and by you.

Never in the history of the world has there been an opportunity to apply the precautionary approach at this scale to a major industrial activity that has yet to begin. We are proud and energized to be part of developing what we believe is a solution to better source these metals in a way that has a fraction of the impact of traditional terrestrial mining. We anticipate the global impact and disruption from the collection of polymetallic nodules will be far less than collecting the same amount from land. Stand by for a report on that comparative analysis and more updates on our ongoing environmental work.

— Dr. Greg Stone, Chief Ocean Scientist