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Int'l - EU should promote moratorium on deep-sea mining, lawmakers say

The European Union should promote a moratorium on deep seabed mining until its effects on the environment are better understood and can be managed, the European Parliament said on Wednesday, adding to calls for a pause on the nascent industry.

The European Union should promote a moratorium on deep seabed mining until its effects on the environment are better understood and can be managed, the European Parliament said on Wednesday, adding to calls for a pause on the nascent industry.

A global shift from fossil fuels to electrify the global economy is stoking demand for minerals used to make batteries. Some of these are found on the seabed, whose ecosystems have yet to be fully explored.

Deep-sea mining would extract cobalt, copper, nickel, and manganese from potato-sized nodules which pepper the sea floor at depths of 4-6 kilometres.

These rocks are particularly abundant in a region of the North Pacific Ocean spanning millions of kilometres between Hawaii and Mexico.

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