Environmental Impacts and Risks of Deep-Sea Mining
Aug 2018 - Feb 2022
This MiningImpact phase will follow up on the results of the JPI Oceans pilot action on "Ecological Aspects of Deep-Sea Mining" which terminated in late December 2017 (see results here). While the initial MiningImpact phase investigated experimental and rather small-scale disturbances of the seafloor over decadal timescales, the second part will independently study and comprehensively monitor in real time the environmental impact of an industrial trial to mine manganese nodules on the seafloor which will be conducted simultaneously and independently by the Belgian contractor DEME-GSR in the Belgian an German licence area in the Clarion-Clipperton-Zone.
The project will further study regional connectivity of species in the deep-sea and their resilience to impacts, and the integrated effects on ecosystem functions, such as the benthic food-web and biogeochemical processes.
In this context, key objectives of the project are:
To develop and test monitoring concepts and strategies for deep-sea mining operations
To develop standardization procedures for monitoring and definitions for indicators of a good environmental status
To investigate potential mitigation measures, such as spatial management plans of mining operations and means to facilitate ecosystem recovery
To develop sound methodologies to assess the environmental risks and estimate benefits, costs and risks
To explore how uncertainties in the knowledge of impacts can be implemented into appropriate regulatory frameworks
The Miningimpact 2018-2022 project is conducted independently of DEME-GSR activities. DEME-GSR is responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for its operations and does not receive any funding from the MiningImpact project.
The respective environmental impacts assessments by BGR and DEME-GSR are online on the International Seabed Authority's website: https://www.isa.org.jm/environmental-impact-assessments
Ecological Aspects of Deep-Sea Mining
The Aim of the Project
- modern mapping technologies
- the investigation of the biodiversity and community structure of benthic microbial and metazoan communities at disturbed and undisturbed sites in the DISCOL area as well as in several areas of the CCZ
- the employment of state-of-the-art TV-guided, targeted sampling and in situ measurement techniques
- the impact resulting from the release and dispersion of the sediment plume in the water column created by mining activities using modern high-quality and highresolution spatial and temporal hydrographic and sedimentological data as well as highresolution bathymetric data
- the dissemination of the project results to policymakers, stakeholders, and contractors holding exploration licenses. Furthermore, discussion will be initiated with industry interested in deep-sea mining to develop low-impact mining gear.
National Funding through JPI Oceans
Start Date: 08-2018
End Date: 02-2022
Cruise: SO268 (Feb – May 2019)
National Funding Through JPI Oceans
Partners: 25 Partners
Duration: Jan 2015 - Dec 2017
Cruises: SO239, SO242-1, SO242-2