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Outgunned Pacific Island nations vow to fight deep-sea mining

A handful of postage-stamp nations in the South Pacific have launched an uphill struggle against the deep-sea mining of unattached, fist-sized rocks abundant in unusual earth metals. 

The stakes are probably enormous.

Businesses eager to scrape the ocean floor 5,000 to 6,000 metres under sea level stand to gain billions harvesting manganese, cobalt, copper and nickel now utilised to build batteries for electric powered vehicles.

But the extraction system would disfigure what may well be the most pristine ecosystem on the planet and could just take millennia, if not more time, for nature to mend.

The deep-sea jewels in concern, identified as polymetallic nodules, grow with the support of microbes above thousands and thousands of yrs all-around a kernel of natural and organic make a difference, these as a shark’s tooth or the ear-bone of a whale.

“They are dwelling rocks, not just dead stones,” previous US Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) main scientist Sylvia Earle said in Lisbon.

“I glimpse at them as miracles.”

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