New gold rush

Down to Earth - - COVER STORY -

1960s Ex­plo­ration of seabed for cop­per, zinc be­gins 1970s The UN Gen­eral Assem­bly adopts a Dec­la­ra­tion of Prin­ci­ples on the use of seabed in in­ter­na­tional wa­ters in 1970. Be­tween 1972 and 1982, three con­fer­ences were or­gan­ised lead­ing to the con­ven­tion on the law of the sea. Sci­en­tists dis­cover min­eral-rich hy­dro­ther­mal vents 1980s Metal prices crash tak­ing some fizz out of the costly deep sea min­ing 1990s The UN Law of the Sea Con­ven­tion comes into ef­fect; the In­ter­na­tional Seabed Au­thor­ity (ISA) es­tab­lished. De­mand for min­er­als rises in emerg­ing economies. In­ter­est in deep sea min­ing re­vives 2000s ISA grants first ex­plo­ration con­tract in 2001. In the sub­se­quent year, In­dia gets prospect­ing con­tract for 150,000 sq km in the In­dian Ocean Basin. In 2012, the pol­icy pa­per of In­dia's Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil ar­tic­u­lates deep sea min­ing from strate­gic as­pects. ISA adopts en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment plan for Clar­ion-Clipperton Zone of the Pa­cific Ocean, which has been given most ex­plo­ration con­tracts

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