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Source: Greenpeace

Greenpeace activists have peacefully confronted a deep sea mining ship off the coast of Manzanillo, México as it returned to port from the Pacific.
The Hidden Gem, commissioned by Canadian miner The Metals Company, has just returned from eight weeks of test mining in the Clarion Clipperton Zone between México and Hawaii. One of the biggest vessels of its type in the world, the ship planned to mine 3,600 tonnes of polymetallic nodules from the seafloor in a trial that could pave the way for full scale commercial mining.
Greenpeace México activists met The Hidden Gem in kayaks holding ‘Stop Deep Sea Mining’ banners while Greenpeace Aotearoa campaigner James Hita delivered a message to the captain of the Hidden Gem via radio.
Says Hita: “We are here today because deep sea mining threatens the health of the ocean and the lives and livelihoods of all who depend on it. The ocean is home to over 50% of life on Earth and one of our biggest allies in fighting the climate crisis. We will not stand by while mining companies begin to plunder the seafloor for profit.
“From a small vessel off the coast of México today, I radioed the captain of The Hidden Gem and made that very clear.
“Our message is clear: deep sea mining will not be tolerated. The indigenous-led movement opposing this destructive industry grows stronger every day and now includes thousands of people around the world, an increasing number of civil society groups and governments calling for a halt to deep sea mining. It cannot be allowed to go any further”, says Hita.
To date, the governments of Palau, Samoa, Fiji, Micronesia, Chile, and New Zealand have all declared backing for a moratorium. While Germany backs a ‘precautionary pause’ and French President Macron recently called for an outright ban at the latest session of COP27 in Egypt.
“We see a future where the ocean that connects and nourishes us all, is thriving. A future where people’s way of life is protected and their spiritual connection to the ocean is respected. Deep sea mining has no place in this future.”
Unless decisive action is taken by world leaders to implement a moratorium, mining of the deep could begin as early as July next year. The Metals Company has said it plans to apply for a deep sea mining licence in 2023 via the International Seabed Authority.
Says Hita: “The time for action is now. We are calling on world leaders to take a stand for ocean health to protect the ocean for the future by stopping this destructive extractive industry before it gains traction.”
Aleira Lara, of Greenpeace México says: “The Clarion Clipperton Zone, where The Metals Company is conducting mining tests, is close to México. If this industry begins, it could have very dangerous implications for our country and the marine ecosystems around us. We are very concerned about this. The planet and communities are already suffering the consequences of the climate crisis and biodiversity loss. We do not need a new extractive industry that would only make things worse. For us it is very important that our government sees these potential risks and positions itself as a regional and global leader against deep sea mining.”
Deep sea mining involves large machinery sucking up minerals from the deep and transferring them to mining ships, a process that produces a large sediment plume that could potentially smother ocean life, threaten people’s way of life and add to the climate crisis.