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Article

Predicting the impacts of mining deep sea polymetallic nodules in the Pacific Ocean

Deep sea mining (DSM) in the Pacific is of growing interest to frontier investors, mining companies and some island economies. [...] The focus is on polymetallic nodules in the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ) in the north-eastern equatorial Pacific, and in the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of several nations.

Some stakeholders promote DSM as essential to supply the metals required for a global transition to renewable energy. [...]

Some companies and governments maintain that future DSM within EEZs will support national prosperity and the development goals of Pacific island economies with little or no negative impact. [...]

[...]

This review represents an analysis of literature addressing the predicted and potential impacts of mining deep sea nodules in the Southwest, Central, and Northeast Pacific. [...]

The accumulated scientific evidence indicates that the impacts of nodule mining in the Pacific Ocean would be extensive, severe and last for generations, causing essentially irreversible damage. Expectations that nodule mining would generate social and economic gains for Pacific island economies are based on conjecture. The impacts of mining on communities and people's health are uncertain and require rigorous independent studies.

The full report is available here.