Vancouver-based deep-sea mining company explains waste-dumping video released by Greenpeace
A B.C. company piloting deep-sea mining in the Pacific Ocean says the release of discharge directly into the sea was an accident and quickly resolved.
On Wednesday, Vancouver-based publicly listed corporation The Metals Company said that video footage, released by Greenpeace, showing fouled water going directly from the company’s mining ship into the ocean was a “minor and temporary event.”
The company said the discharge was a combination of sea water, sediments and fractured nodules that contained no toxins.
TMC is one of several companies globally that want to mine the sea floor for polymetallic nodules — basically fist-sized rocks that contain metals like nickel, copper, manganese and in particular cobalt, which is needed for electric-vehicle batteries.
While the concept of deep-sea mining has been around for decades, the rise of electric vehicles and the need for precious metals to build their batteries has led to renewed interest. Environmental groups are opposed because of the damage to the sea-floor and death to the aquatic life that lives there, and especially the impact of the plumes of sediment that are created as the mining machines move across the floor bed.
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