Extracting Environmental Harm From Deep Seabed Mining
The Metals Company (TMC), sponsored by the Republic of Nauru, has made public its intention to be the first company to exploit polymetallic nodules, which contain minerals needed for electric batteries, from the deep ocean’s seabed. Nongovernmental organizations and national governments have objected to these proposed actions, with many calling for an outright ban. This Article offers a case study evaluating the parties’ respective claims in favor of, and in opposition to, permitting the proposed mining activities under the current legal framework. Specifically, it evaluates the validity of the two-year treaty deadline; protection of the marine environment; and sharing of knowledge and resources. It concludes by arguing that mining activities should not proceed unless and until regulations are in place that ensure the protection of the marine environment and benefit humankind as a whole.