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Deep-Sea Mining: Current Status and Future Considerations

  • Rahul SharmaEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Deep-sea minerals such as polymetallic nodule, hydrothermal sulphides, and ferro-manganese crusts have for long attracted attention as an alternative source of metals to terrestrial deposits. The occurrence of many of these deposits in the international waters has necessitated its regulation under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea through the establishment of International Seabed Authority.

A sudden spurt in the number of ‘Contractors’ interested in claiming large tracts of seafloor with exclusive rights for exploration from just eight in the first four decades (1970–2010) to 25 in the next 4 years (2011–2015) as well as consistent research and development of technology for prospecting, mining, and processing of these resources, coupled with issuing of licences to private entrepreneurs for deposits within the EEZ of some countries, calls for a re-look at the current status and future prospects of deep-sea mining.

Notes

Acknowledgments

Author gratefully acknowledges the permission given by Secretary General, International Seabed Authority, Jamaica, for reproducing the maps from website.

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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CSIR-National Institute of OceanographyCouncil of Scientific and Industrial ResearchDona PaulaIndia

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