Deep sea mining would be highly unpredictable, costly

‘Invisible Oil’ in Gulf of Mexico


Deep seabed mining should be approached very cautiously because it could destroy undiscovered species and have negative consequences for marine ecosystems, a new report warned.

Though the practice is becoming an increasingly attractive source of minerals for clean energy and transportation technologies, the report released yesterday by WRI’s High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy cautioned too little is known about the environmental impacts and the technological alternatives to the likely destructive industry.

While mining of the deep seabed has not yet taken place, companies are eying it as a source of minerals like cobalt and nickel used to make electric vehicle batteries and some renewable energy technologies, but it may not even be necessary for a rapid clean energy transition.

“If mining was to go ahead with the current state of knowledge, species and functions could be lost before they are known and understood,” the authors warned.

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