U.S. losing out on race for rare earth minerals from deep seabed
The second economic benefit I would like to highlight relates to mining in the deep seabed areas beyond any country’s jurisdiction. Only as a Party to the Convention could the United States sponsor U.S. companies like Lockheed Martin to mine the deep seabed for valuable metals and rare earth elements. These rare earth elements – essential for cell phones, flat-screen televisions, electric car batteries, and other high-tech products – are currently in tight supply and produced almost exclusively by China. While we challenge China’s export restrictions, we must also make it possible for U.S. companies to develop other sources of these critical materials. They can only do this if they can obtain secure rights to deep seabed mine sites and indisputable title to minerals recovered. While we sit on the sidelines, companies in China, India, Russia, and elsewhere are securing their rights, moving ahead with deep seabed resource exploration, and taking the lead in this emerging market.
Statement from Hillary Clinton: The Law of the Sea Convention: The U.S. National Security and Strategic Imperatives for Ratification (Treaty Doc. 103-39) ." Testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, May 23, 2012. [ More (3 quotes) ]"
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U.S. companies increasingly seek to engage in seabed mining for minerals such as rare earth elements and cobalt that are critical to the broad U.S. economy and used in producing defense assets. The deep seabed contains two potential sources for rare earth elements: polymetallic nodules which typically contain manganese, nickel, copper, cobalt and rare earth minerals; and sea-floor hydrothermal vents which pump out rare-earth elements dissolved in their hot fluids.Related Quotes:
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