Nauru Plans to Expedite Deep Sea Mining Rules by ISA
Reuters reported that the government of Nauru plans to ask the International Seabed Authority to fast-track the adoption of seabed mining regulations, in a sign of growing pressure to launch the controversial new industry. The so-called "two-year rule" would compel the ISA to allow seabed mining to go ahead within two years, effectively setting a deadline for the body to finalize mining regulations.
The Pacific island nation roughly 2,800 miles northeast of Australia is a sponsoring state for The Metals Co, formerly known as DeepGreen, which plans to list on the Nasdaq next month in a merger with blank-check company Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corp.
Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, private mining companies must be sponsored by a state in order to do seabed mining. The Metals Co is also sponsored by Kiribati and Tonga. Any ISA member state that either holds or sponsors a deep-sea exploration license for a private company can trigger the two-year rule.
Deep-sea mining involves sucking up potato-sized rocks that contain cobalt, nickel and other battery metals and are strewn across the Pacific Ocean floor.