ISA welcomes growing interest in seabed miningNews // March 22, 2013
The Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, Nii A Odunton, says the level of interest in deep seabed mining has increased rapidly and significantly after decades of being 'on hold'.
Speaking at a media event in London on Thursday, 14 March for the launch of UK Seabed Resources Ltd, the latest exploration contractor with the ISA, Mr Odunton said the increase in interest was a welcome and positive development.
In a statement on the ISA website, he said the change was driven by the dramatic increase in metal demand, increase in metal prices, decline in the tonnage and grade of land-based nickel, copper and cobalt sulphide deposits and technological advances in deep seabed mining and processing.
Mr Odunton said that in recent years "there have been clear signs that the private sector and the financial institutions that support it believe that deep seabed mining can be commercially viable."
He noted that since the authority became operational in 1996, its primary task has been a painstaking process of rule making designed to ensure that the regulatory regime for exploration is robust, predictable and providing not only for security of tenure for investors but also the necessary protection for the international community as a whole in terms of responsibility for environmental damage.