Deep seabed mining beyond national jurisdiction may soon become a commercial reality. The deep seabed covers almost three-quarters of the entire surface area of our oceans, and it boasts an array of valuable mineral resources, including metals and rare earth elements. This article will evaluate the international legal regime, which applies to mining activities in this area. Acting under UNCLOS, the International Seabed Authority is responsible for regulating the deep seabed and granting mining contracts to allow investors to explore for and exploit deep seabed minerals. After assessing the types of mineral resources present in the deep seabed, this article will consider the key parameters of the UNCLOS deep seabed regime, including its licensing process and the extent to which actors are undertaking mining activities within the regime at present.
European Yearbook of International Economic Law / Volume 9 / pp. 261-287
The deep seabed beyond national jurisdiction comprises almost three-quarters of the entire surface area of our oceans. It boasts an array of mineral resources, including valuable metals and rare earth elements. Acting under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the International Seabed Authority is responsible for regulating this area and granting mining contracts to allow investors to explore for and exploit deep seabed minerals. As yet, deep seabed mining activities have been confined to the exploratory stage. However, recently, there has been a marked growth in deep seabed investment by private corporate actors. As technology advances and commercial appetite increases, extraction of deep seabed minerals may soon commence. In this context, this article seeks to address crucial legal issues facing pioneers of deep seabed mining. What is the extent of investment protection within the existing regime? And are there dispute resolution options to enforce such protection?
Journal of World Investment and Trade / Volume 19 / Issue 5-6 / pp. 890-929