Google, Volvo, BMW and Korean battery manufacturing company Samsung SDI have pledged not to purchase metals extracted from deep-sea mining until the activity’s environmental risks are better understood. These companies are the first international companies to back a World Wildlife Fund action for a moratorium on deep-sea mining. This move could deal a significant blow to companies that plan to mine the deep ocean in the near future.
In addition to these companies, the European Parliament also called for a ban on deep-sea mining until the environmental risks and effects of disrupting unique ecosystems were understood.
The companies have also noted that they will not fund any companies engaged in deep-sea mining.
In the statement, the signatories asserted that it needed to be clearly shown that activities such as deep-sea mining could be managed in a way that ensured the effective protection of the marine environment before any deep-seabed mining could take place. The companies added that all alternatives to the mining of minerals in the deep sea must be explored urgently, with a focus on developing responsible land-mining practices, transitioning to a closed-loop materials economy that’s resource efficient and that decreases the demand for primary metals.
Deep-sea mining has been heralded as a land-based mining alternative as the demand for minerals required for the green energy transition such as nickel and cobalt is set to exceed the current rates of production a decade from now.
Despite this, the International Seabed Authority is yet to pass regulations that support this mining activity. The body, which is backed by 167 nations across the globe, has so far issued exploration contracts to 21 companies, companies that aren’t allowed to begin mining until regulations are approved.
Earlier in 2018, an international group of researchers came up with a set of criteria to help International Seabed Authority, a UN-backed body, protect biodiversity from deep-sea mining activities.
The U.S. Geological Survey has found that in comparison with all land reserves combined, the deep sea makes up more than half of the global surface and has minerals in concentrations that are a few times higher.
Many companies planning to carry out deep-sea mining are focused on obtained polymetallic nodules. These nodules are small rocks that are rich in rare earth minerals, manganese, copper, nickel and cobalt, and are found in the shallow layer of the seafloor. Explorers and scientists have also identified crusts rich in cobalt, located shallower than sulphates and nodules.
While the debate on deep-sea mining rages on, many mining companies, including GoldHaven Resources Corp. (CSE: GOH) (OTCQB: GHVNF), are hard at work extracting the resources available on dry land with mechanisms in place to limit the damage to the ecosystems in their areas of operation.
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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