The editors argue that "[o]n the evidence of the first response to an application for seabed mining, those seeking consent for economic activity in the 200-mile zone will have to clear a very high hurdle" due to the significant environmental unknowns involved.
A project to mine undersea iron ore deposits off the New Zealand coast has been rejected because of uncertainty about the environmental effects of the project, the country’s Environmental Protection Authority said on Wednesday.
Undersea mining is an entirely new area of exploitation, the effects of which are not fully known. “We know less about the deep sea than we know about the surface of the moon,” says environtmentalist Richard Page. “So this is a big experiment.”
Plans to open the world's first mine in the deep ocean have moved significantly closer to becoming reality. A Canadian mining company has finalised an agreement with Papua New Guinea to start digging up an area of seabed.