U.S. stake in emerging deep seabed mining industry could be worth as much as $1 trillion annually
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Now what was at stake for the United States in this? At stake was access to these mineral resources, these huge mine sites that are equivalent to the largest in the world today. The aggregate value of the minerals in the mine sites we are going to lose if we do not move forward on this treaty, may be—hold on to your hats—one trillion dollars.19 Now just to put that into perspective, the total cost so far of the Iraq War is debated as being somewhere between a quarter of a trillion and three-quarters of a trillion dollars.20 This large amount, a trillion dollars may be at stake in access to critical minerals for the United States of America in going forward with this treaty.
If the U.S. does not ratify UNCLOS, it risks losing the remaining three possible seabed mining sites, with billions in the strategic minerals manganese, copper, cobalt and nickel at stake. A single seabed mining operation would spur the economy with total capital purchases of close to one and a half billion dollars and would stimulate robust job creation.