Deep sea mining is a method of retrieving minerals in the sea beds. Mineral deposits are mined either through the use of bucket systems or hydraulic pumps that transport mineral ore to the surface for processing. As with other mining operations, deep sea mining raises many questions and concerns about its potential impact on the environment.
Many environmental advocacy groups such as the Deep Sea Mining Campaign and Greenpeace have asserted that ocean floor mining shouldn’t be allowed in oceans around the globe because of the potential for pollution and damage to deep sea ecosystems.
Despite this, however, mining firms around the world are becoming heavily interested in the polymetallic nodules found on the sea floor of the Pacific Ocean. Various governments from the Pacific Islands appear to be supporting the seabed exploration efforts by these companies.
Professor Jeffrey Drazen from the Department of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii is one of the many scientists who are working in this area of the Pacific. Drazen stated that while there was still a lot that needed to be studied, the risk of damaging the ocean floor’s slow-evolving ecosystem was very high.
Douglas McCauley, director of Benioff Ocean Initiative and an ocean science professor from the University of California, asserted that it was important for the whole community to be informed of any potential effects that may arise as a result of extraction. He explained that seeing a novel industry that could drastically affect the ocean and the oceans’ health coming up in a space that had so little literature on it was hard. He went on to identify three main areas that could potentially be affected if extraction was to proceed, i.e., biodiversity, fisheries and climate change.
McCauley also explained that most of the material that was stored in the sea floor where the mining companies want to begin extraction was carbon. This, he said, was carbon that was stored away from the earth’s circulation and that was where it should remain.
He added that while Tonga, Cook Islands, Kiribati and Nauru were all bullish and interested in mining, nations such as Vanuatu, Fiji and PNG preferred to keep from going forward with or making any decisions on ocean mining until they had sufficient science on the field to help them make informed decisions.
McCauley and Drazen both emphasized the importance of providing governments in the Pacific with accurate information on the potential effects deep sea mining could have.
Aside from deep sea mining, a number of mining companies are hitting it big. For example, GoldHaven Resources Corp. (CSE: GOH) (OTCQB: GHVNF) recently acquired seven gold-rich properties in Chile within an area having a record of yielding more than 100 million gold ounces in the past decade.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to GoldHaven Resources Corp. (CSE: GOH) (OTCQB: GHVNF) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/GHVNF
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