Countries meeting in Jamaica this month to hammer out mining code
By Susan Ormiston and Carly Thomas, CBC News
Gerard Barron, the CEO and chairman of The Metals Company, pulls a fist-sized black rock out of his pocket and displays it proudly in his hand.
"Everything you need to build an EV battery cathode is in here," he says. "It's an amazing mix of metals that are just made for this time we find ourselves in."
But to get them, TMC is going to vacuum the bottom of the sea in two parcels in the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ), a 4.5-million-square-kilometre area in the Pacific Ocean partway between Mexico and Hawaii.
Murky waters: The environmental risks of deep sea mining There are potentially big profits in the CCZ, one of the richest areas for nodules in the world's oceans.
"The reason they want to mine the deep seabed is not to protect the Earth from climate change," said Catherine Coumans, research co-ordinator at MiningWatch Canada. "They want to mine the deep sea because they want to make a profit."
This month, high-stakes international negotiations in Kingston, Jamaica, hosted by the International Seabed Authority could determine the future of deep sea mining and whether TMC can successfully pursue a permit this year to mine commercially.
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