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The Move to Mine the Mineral Resources of the Deep Seabed (Brown-Bag Lunch Discussion)

Tuesday, December 9, 12-2pm
Tiller House (2223 Massachusetts Ave NW)

ASIL's International Environmental Law and Law of the Sea interest groups and the ABA Section of International Law International Environmental Law Committee are hosting a brown-bag lunch discussion on the move to mine the deep seabed for mineral resources. Over the last several years interest in deep sea mineral resources has revived as a result of an increase in demand for metal and in metal prices; a decline in the grade and tonnage of land-based mineral deposits; and advances in seabed mining technology. In April 2014, an agreement was reached between Canadian mining company, Nautilus Minerals, Inc. and Papua New Guinea (PNG) to open the first mine in the deep ocean of the PNG continental shelf. Nautilus hopes to be the first to prove the deep seabed mining concept and technology. Meanwhile, in Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd Marine Consent Decision, the New Zealand EPA refused to grant a “marine consent” to mine the seabed of the New Zealand continental shelf because it was not satisfied that the “life supporting capacity of the environment would be safeguarded”. Further, a number of Pacific Island states have passed progressive legislative frameworks for deep seabed mining and are actively seeking partners. As of July 2014, the International Seabed Authority has approved 26 contracts for the exploration of mineral resources in "The Area”, the ocean space beyond national jurisdiction. Given these on-going developments, the time is ripe to consider the adequacy of the legal framework and challenges posed by deep seabed mining.

Learn more and register here!