Deep Sea Mining Facts

  • Currently there is no commercial deep-sea activity in the seabed areas beyond national jurisdiction.
  • The sector is still in the exploration phase, working on gaining the knowledge needed to apply for a commercial licence.
  • Polymetallic nodules were first discovered over 140 years ago when a British scientific exploration vessel, HMS Challenger, dredged them from the seafloor in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone.
  • The mineral-rich nodules in the Clarion Clipperton Zone lie 4,500 metres below the ocean’s surface.
  • The Clarion Clipperton Zone in the central Pacific Ocean, at 4.5 million square kilometres, is estimated to contain more manganese, nickel and cobalt than all the known land-based reserves combined
  • The deep sea is known as “aphotic”, meaning that there is little or no light.
  • The International Seabed Authority, which governs the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, comprises 168 members: 167 Member States and the European Union.
  • Any contractors wishing to undertake operations in the international deep seabed area must comply with International Seabed Authority regulations.