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Key points in this POSTnote include:

  • The first deep-sea mining in national waters, off the coast of Papua New Guinea, may begin in 2018. For the UK, current deep-sea mining focus is on international waters, regulations for which are under development.
  • Three different types of deposit are being considered, each associated with a distinct geology and ecosystem. However, the extreme environment of the deep sea poses new engineering challenges.
  • Some deposits are found in areas that are known to have high ecological value.
  • The environmental impacts of deep-sea mining are uncertain because little is known about deep-sea organisms, their distribution or their sensitivity to disturbance.

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