10:10 to 11:20
STCC, Room 3BC
The new gold rush: Prospects and controversies in deep seabed mining
It is getting harder to mine the minerals needed to develop technologies such as electric cars, phone batteries, and wind turbines. Nickel, manganese, and cobalt are all needed to transition the global economy away from fossil fuels. A panel of leaders from the deep seabed mining industry will talk about how prospecting for these vital resources is now a realistic possibility and provide leads for journalists wishing to cover an emerging area that is bound to provide a rich source of stories.Contractors, regulators, and environmentalists will talk about how mining equipment can be positioned more than 4,000 meters under the sea to mine the wealth of so-called polymetallic nodules resting on the seabed. The panel will talk about the extraction process, the environmental, technical, and scientific challenges, and the international code of regulations that need to be settled before deep seabed commercial mining gets going, in less than a decade.