Metal Compagny is the name of the Canadian company that wishes to exploit the resources of the deep sea. It has all the equipment to harvest the minerals which are 4,000 meters deep. Metal Compagny must deposit, Sunday, July 9, an operating permit.
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The international fund authority therefore faces a coup de force. Meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, this authority, which depends on the UN, will try to set up a longer-term response with the development of a possible moratorium. “The moratorium is clearly a second blade”, supports François Chartier, in charge of this dossier for the NGO Greenpeace. “If the States do not manage to block this risk of the possibility of exploitation without the idea, for us, the moratorium is today the legal means of preventing mining exploitation and giving ourselves time . The scientific time to know if we can go there.”
“It’s a political subject”
A little less than twenty states, including France, are pleading today for this moratorium. The process will take time. The French ambassador for the poles and maritime issues, Olivier Poivre d’Arvor hopes for a conclusion in two years in France. “It’s a political subject. Do we want to plow 50% of the surface of the seabed with all the risks that exist? We, our desire, is to be able to have, during the great conference of Nations united on the ocean or ‘the COP of the oceans, which will take place in Nice in June 2025, a real discussion at the level of heads of state and government, there will be a hundred of them, on this subject.
If the protection of deep seas seems to be progressing today, it is undoubtedly thanks to the international agenda. This year he focused on the oceans and biodiversity. “Last December, we had the COP 15 which recorded this objective of 30% protection of the ocean and rare earths by 2030”, recalls Anne Sophie Roux who belongs to the alliance for a sustainable ocean. “There, we have also just had the adoption of the treaty on the high seas at the UN. So in fact, we see that there is already a global movement of recognition and taking into account more and more important of the ocean.”
If deep seas attract covetousness, it is because they contain precious minerals for the energy transition. Today, countries are under the regime of exploration. The first operating request could fall within a few months.