Deep-Sea Riches: Mining a Remote Ecosystem

Deep-Sea Riches: Mining a Remote Ecosystem
Spread the love

Islam News – As demand grows for metals needed to make batteries for electric vehicles, companies are looking to rich, untapped sources beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

Seabed metals are meant to be shared by everyone, not just the most powerful nations. But an examination by The Times shows that the International Seabed Authority, an agency affiliated with the U.N., gave a Canadian firm, the Metals Company, priority access to prized sites packed with cobalt, copper and nickel.

A remote section of the seabed, about 1,500 miles southwest of San Diego, could soon become the world’s first industrial-scale mining site in international waters. The exclusive access would yield enough cobalt, copper and nickel, the company says, to power 280 million electric vehicles, equivalent to the entire fleet of cars in the U.S. The Metals Company calculates that it will clear $31 billion in earnings over the 25-year life of the project.

Backlash: The sharing of information with the Metals Company angered employees at the Seabed Authority, who said some of the data was meant to help developing countries. The exploration deal has also raised concerns among environmentalists about the perpetually underfunded agency’s commitment to life on the ocean floor.

Context: The historic climate legislation that the U.S. Congress passed this month extended tax credits for buyers of electric cars, which will accelerate the need for raw materials, as automakers push to phase out gasoline-powered vehicles.

Source: The New York Times

Islam News