Mining: Seas and Oceans

Department for Business and Trade written question – answered on 7th March 2023.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Shadow Minister (Climate Change and Net Zero)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 24 February 2023 to Question 148550 on Mining: Seas and Oceans, whether she has had recent discussions with the International Seabed Authority on environmental standards for (a) existing and (b) future commercial exploitation.

Photo of Nusrat Ghani Nusrat Ghani Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)

There is no deep-sea mining currently happening in areas beyond national jurisdictions, there are no exploitation licences for deep-sea mining, and no exploitation regulations have yet been agreed.

In addition, the UK has committed not to sponsor or support the issuing of any exploitation licences for deep-sea mining projects unless and until there is sufficient scientific evidence about the potential impact on deep-sea ecosystems and strong and enforceable environmental regulations and standards have been developed by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and are in place.

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