U.S. companies unlikely to invest in deep seabed mining without protections afforded by UNCLOS
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First, without the protection now guaranteed by UNCLOS, U.S. companies are not likely to invest in deep seabed mining. At a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jay Timmons, President and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, spoke on manufacturers' behalf and expressed the hesitancy to invest: "[t]he development of deep seabed claims is incredibly expensive. Companies in the U.S. are reluctant to invest heavily in deep seabed mining because of the risk that their activities would not withstand a legal challenge since the U.S. is not a party to the Convention." For instance, the Pacific Ocean contains a large supply of nodules, rock-like substances that contain minerals such as nickel, copper, and cobalt. " There is currently no cost-effective way to remove these nodules from the ocean floor. It is possible that developing a procedure to extract the metal from the nodules will be the most expensive part of the process." Further, methane hydrates114 are another potentially enormous alternative energy source found in the ocean with extraction technology in its infancy.115 Unless the United States accedes to UNCLOS, U.S. companies will be less likely to invest in deep seabed mining of the nodules and exploitation of methane hydrates, leaving untouched great resources that would add much revenue to the U.S. Treasury.
"The Time is Now: The United States Needs to Accede to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to Exert Influence over the Competing Claims in the South China Sea
." Temple International and Comparative Law Journal
. Vol. 28. (2014): 1-26. [ More (7 quotes) ]
The development of deep seabed claims is incredibly expensive. Companies in the U.S. are reluctant to invest heavily in deep seabed mining because of the risk that their activities would not withstand a legal challenge since the U.S. is not a party to the Convention. Conversely, foreign companies, because their governments have joined the Convention, have access to the international bodies that grant the legal claims to operate in the deep seabed area. The U.S. cannot represent the interests of its companies in those bodies.