IB2017/9 Deep Sea Minerals in the Pacific

SSGM In Brief

Author/s (editor/s):

Michael Petterson, Akuila Tawake

Publication year:

2017

Publication type:

In Brief

In 2016 c. 24 million tonnes of copper was produced. This is the tip of an exponential growth trend from 1900 when only 0.5 million tonnes was produced and is a proxy for global population and consumer trends (CDA 2017). The range of minerals and metals used is also widening, particularly with the advent of smartphones, tablet and laptop computers, green energy devices and so forth. A modern smartphone, depending on the model, can use over 70 metals, as well as a range of non-metallic commodities. Modern life relies on a range of minerals to make houses, cars, transport infrastructure, ICT devices, aeroplanes etc. This In Brief aims to provide insights into the nature of deep sea mining and some of the challenges ahead from a technical perspective. It is part of the SSGM Ocean Governance series, which emerged from a joint Ocean Governance workshop held with the University of the South Pacific.

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