On 17 March, the chief executive of DEME, the parent company of GSR, received a letter from Greenpeace asking GSR to abandon its forthcoming deep seabed mining research expedition to the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ) in the Pacific Ocean.
The purpose of the expedition is to test GSR’s pre-prototype polymetallic nodule collector, Patania II, and to conduct scientific research on the environmental effects of the trial as part of a multi-year research programme in association with numerous independent scientists. On 18 March, DEME responded to Greenpeace.
Greenpeace’s letter can be read here and DEME’s response can be read here.
While Greenpeace may not see a role for deep seabed mining, it is premature to discard it as an option for delivering the metals the planet needs to realize a circular economy and a clean energy future. If it transpires that polymetallic nodules do not offer a responsible option for sourcing metals, GSR will not proceed with applying for a mining licence.