Short Research Study on Deep Sea Mining Commodities

Currently, mining of mineral commodities is almost exclusively conducted on land. Nevertheless, deposits in the deep sea are increasingly moving into the focus of mining companies and raw material analysts. These deposits are mostly located outside the 200-miles zone in international waters, where no single country holds any sovereign right for mining and exploitation. Amongst all deep-sea mineral deposits, polymetallic nodules stick out in terms of resource potential and economic interests. Due to their metal contents and their form of occurrence, they are widely regarded as attractive deposits with rapidly developing interests from governments, companies and investors developing. Nevertheless, decisions on exploitation and precautionary environmental measures for the deep-sea mining are taken by the international community, notably the 168 parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This study aims at supporting related decision-making by highlighting selected aspects around raw material supply and deep-sea mining. It does not have the ambition to provide a holistic assessment of all environmental, economic, social and technical aspects, but rather focuses on topics and perspectives that have so far been underrepresented in the debate around deep sea mining.