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World - DeepGreen hits back at WWF led critics of seafloor mining

DeepGreen maintains "an exacting commitment to science-based impact analysis and environmental protection" is informing its strategy

September 19, 2018

Canada's DeepGreen Metals, a seafloor mining project which recently announced plans to go public, has hit back at critics calling for a moratorium on mining the seabed.

Google, the WWF and BMW were among those calling for a deep-sea mining ban until the environmental risks of this mining process are "comprehensively understood".

Nodules

In an open letter to the brands call for a ban on seafloor mining, DeepGreen stated: "We agree that seafloor minerals development should be approached cautiously and with an exacting commitment to science-based impact analysis and environmental protection. A precautionary approach has informed our strategy from the outset, including our mission to provide battery metals sourced from deep-ocean nodules that generate zero solid waste, no toxic tailings, and a fraction of the carbon emissions compared to land-based sources.

"Such environmental benefits can be achieved only through collecting polymetallic nodules, 4,000 meters deep on the abyssal plain where the abundance of life is up to 1,500 times less than in the vibrant ecosystems on land from where battery metals are currently sourced. Nodules lie unattached on the seafloor, and the extractive processes will not affect the integrity of the seafloor crust. This is different to other resource types that are the impetus for the moratorium being put forth by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)."

Net-Zero

The signatories of the moratorium in opposition to DeepGreen's plan also include Volvo and battery maker Samsung SDI. However, DeepGreen said it shared a common goal for "achieving a net-zero-emissions future while protecting the oceans and other ecosystems from climate change."

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