India and Seabed Mining

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The International Seabed Authority (ISA), an autonomous international organisation.

Established under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, allots the ‘area’ for deep-sea mining.

India was the first country to receive the status of a ‘Pioneer Investor ‘ in 1987.
Also given an area of about 1.5 lakh sq km in the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) for nodule exploration.

Also In 2002, India signed a contract with the ISA.

Thereafter complete resource analysis of the seabed 50% was surrendered and the country retained an area of 75,000 sq km.

Deep-sea mining

•    Deep-sea mining is the process of retrieving mineral deposits from the deep sea – the area of the ocean below 200 m. 

•    Depleting terrestrial deposits and rising demand for metals are stimulating interest in the deep sea, with commercial mining imminent.

•    The scraping of the sea floor and pollution from mining processes can wipe out entire species – many yet to be discovered. 

•    Environmental impact assessments, effective regulation and mitigation strategies are needed to limit the impacts of deep-sea mining.

•    Comprehensive baseline studies are needed to improve our understanding of the deep sea.

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