Should The World Mine The Deep Sea For Critical Minerals?

There are billions of tons and billions of dollars worth of critical minerals at the bottom of the ocean, including nickel, copper, cobalt and manganese. These metals are vital to electric vehicle batteries and the clean energy transition as a whole. But the debate over whether or not to extract them has become a global controversy, as many fear the potential ecological disruptions it could cause in a part of our planet that remains largely unexplored. What’s more, international regulations for deep-sea mining have yet to be finalized, and the United Nations-affiliated regulatory agency in charge, the International Seabed Authority, recently missed a key deadline to do so. In the midst of this uncertainly, The Metals Company is forging ahead. The company plans to submit a mining application next year and begin extraction by 2025. But considering the absence of global governance, many remain concerned that this timeline is too aggressive. Major corporations including Google and Samsung, alongside automakers BMW, Volkswagen, Volvo, Renault and Rivian have lined up against deep-sea mining - promising not to source minerals from the ocean until the scientific uncertainties are addressed, and regulations are in place. Chapters: 00:00 — Introduction 02:10 — Minerals shortage 03:39 — The potential of deep-sea mining 07:39 — Great unknowns 12:31 — An uncertain future Produced by: Katie Brigham Edited by: Nic Golden Henry Additional Camera: Liam Mays Additional Reporting: Catherine Clifford Animation: Jason Reginato Supervising Producer: Jeniece Pettitt Additional Footage: The Metals Company, Deep CCZ Expedition, University of Hawai’i, NOAA Ocean Exploration, Greenpeace, International Seabed Authority, Getty Images
Wed, 20 Sep 2023 16:00:05 GMT