He is among many scientists urging a halt to deep-sea mining, asking for time to weigh up the pros and cons. The deep sea, more than half the world’s surface, contains more nickel, cobalt and rare earth metals than all land reserves combined, according to the US Geological Survey. Mining corporations argue that deep-sea exploration could help diversify the supply of metals, including cobalt for electric car batteries, presently mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where child labour is common. Howell also receives funding, for separate research, from a deep-sea mining company, UK Seabed Resources, which is a subsidiary of the UK branch of the US aerospace and defence company Lockheed Martin. “On deep sea vents, scientists are clear – we don’t want mining on them,” he says.
Source: The Guardian May 20, 2019 08:01 UTC