Deep-sea mining may come to a halt in Germany. In fact, the country has asked for a break to study the likely impacts of the excavation of the ocean floor. Germany, the fourth largest economy in the world, holds two of the 31 licenses for seabed exploration.
Scientists have warned that damage to ecosystems from mining nickel, cobalt and other metals would be dangerous, reckless and irreversible. In a statement to the International Seabed Authority, the UN-affiliated agency responsible for regulating deep-sea mining activities, the German representative said: "The German government here wants to emphasize its position that current knowledge and available science are not sufficient to approve deep-sea mining until further notice."
Germany and deep-sea mining: will there be a pause?
Environment Minister Steffi Lemke said: "Deep-sea mining would put even greater pressure on the oceans and irreparably destroy ecosystems.
For this, as a first step, we ask for a pause to avoid rash decisions at the expense of marine environment. Together with our international partners, we now have the opportunity to avoid another looming environmental crisis and to prioritize nature conservation and exploration.
Only a healthy ocean will help us fight biodiversity and the climate crisis." Matthew Gianni, co-founder of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, described the German statement as significant: "They are sending a political signal of their opposition to any country submitting a mine application under the two-year rule before the adoption of the regulations." The mining industry is the part of the primary sector that deals with the extraction and processing of valuable mineral, energy and non-energy raw materials or other geological materials from the earth's crust, usually from a reservoir, vein or a layer of coal through mine excavations.
Materials commonly covered by the mining industry include iron, coal, copper, diamonds, bauxite, gold, lead, manganese, magnesium, nickel, phosphate, platinum, rock salt, silver, tin, titanium, uranium, zinc and rare earths.
Other particularly useful materials that are mined are clay, sand, ash, gravel, granite and limestone. Any material that cannot be obtained from agricultural processing must be obtained through the mining industry. The mining industry also includes the extraction of oil, natural gas and even groundwater.