- It is the process of retrieving mineral deposits from the deep seabed, the ocean below 200m which covers about two-thirds of the total seafloor.
- Deep sea mining will be conducted to extract key battery materials such as cobalt, copper, nickel, and manganese from rocks called “polymetallic nodules”.
- Benefits – Deep-sea mining has metals crucial to making the transition to clean energy.
- Threat – Research suggests that deep sea mining could destroy habitats and wipe out species.
- The International Seabed Authority (ISA) regulates activities in the seabed beyond national jurisdiction.
- Seabed mining doesn’t use child labor like much of the land mining does.
- It has a life-cycle carbon footprint that is 90% less than land mining.
Deep Sea mining in India
- The International Seabed Authority has allocated about 75,0000 square kilometres in the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) to conduct exploratory mining.
- Union cabinet introduced ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ to be implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
- India has also committed to the High Seas treaty that seeks to protect 30% of the world’s ocean by 2030.
Mining on Land
- Mining is the extraction (removal) of minerals and metals from earth.
- Examples – Manganese, tantalum, cassiterite, copper, tin, nickel, bauxite (aluminum ore), iron ore, gold, silver, and diamonds.
- Mining on land can be broadly classified into 2 types – Surface mining and underground mining
- Surface Mining – In surface mining, workers blast the ground to remove ores near Earth’s surface and carry them to refineries for extracting the minerals.
- Surface mining can be destructive to the surrounding landscape, leaving huge open pits behind.
- Underground Mining – In underground mining, workers remove ores from deep within the earth.
- Mining in India
- The Mining industry in India is one of the core industries of the economy governed by Ministry of Mines.
- India has large reserves of Iron ore, Bauxite, Chromium, Manganese ore, Baryte, Rare earth and Mineral salts.
- India is 2nd largest crude steel producer in the World.
International Seabed Authority
- Establishment – An autonomous international organization established in 1994 under
- 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
- 1994 Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1994 Agreement).
- Headquarters -Kingston, Jamaica
- Members -168 Members which includes 167 Member States and the European Union
- Exclusive Economic Zones – ISA holds authority over the ocean floors outside of its 168 member states’ Exclusive Economic Zones.
- Protects marine environment -ISA has the mandate to ensure the effective protection of the marine environment from harmful effects that may arise from deep-seabed-related activities.
- United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) – ISA is the organization through which States Parties to UNCLOS organize and control all mineral-resources-related activities in the area for the benefit of humankind.
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Deep Sea mining Vs Mining on Land, Deep Sea mining Vs Mining on Land