Policy issues

We will post articles of topical interest as well as documents produced by the InterRidge Office which have been sent to decision makers.

InterRidge Industrial Liaison Panel

An InterRidge Liaison Panel for the formation of guidelines concerning exploration and exploitation of SMS deposits has been formed. It will liaise with mining interests and policy makers to engage all interested in the very topical issue of SMS deposits at hydrothermal vents. Follow the link above.

Hydrothermal vents survey 2010

In 2010, at the request of the ISA, the InterRidge Office surveyed the InterRidge community concerning hydrothermal vents that the community wished to be protected. In February 2011, the results of this survey were sent to the ISA, along with a supporting letter outlining the range of views that were received.

List of vents
Accompanying letter to Legal and Technical Commission
Letter to ISA (Jan 2011, in advance of submission)

Articles of interest:

Dinard Report: Environmental Management of Deep-Sea Chemosynthetic Ecosystems: Justification of and Considerations for a Spatially-Based Approach.  ISA Technical Study: No. 9 (linked to ISA website)
"Tighten regulations on deep-sea mining" Nature article, Feb 2011, by Cindy Van Dover

Discovery of rare-earth elements

"Deep-sea mud contains high concentrations of rare-earth elements and yttrium at numerous sites throughout the eastern South and central North Pacific. We estimate that an area of just one square kilometre, surrounding one of the sampling sites, could provide one-fifth of the current annual world consumption of these elements. We show that rare-earth elements and yttrium are readily recovered from the mud by simple acid leaching, and suggest that deep-sea mud constitutes a highly promising huge resource for these elements" (from article in Nature GeoScience).

Articles of interest:

Deep-sea mud in the Pacific Ocean as a potential resource for rare-earth elements (Nature Geoscience)
Not so rare earths  (Podcast)
A Gold Rush in the Abyss - New York Times, July 2012

Of further interest

SPC-EU Deep Sea Minerals Project
Marine Mining Environmental Code