Nauru it is a lonely island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. About ten thousand people live there, and in its recent history there is everything that we would not want to happen to the planet on a larger scale. Once a haven of greenery, Nauru is a sovereign republic has allowed the almost complete exploitation of its territory. Relying on the phosphate, the quarries and mines have taken all the material that can be taken, leaving a trail of aridity where vegetation once stood, and polluting the waters through leaks and non-compliance with pollution regulations. In the country, life expectancy has shrank, despite the wealth generated by the mines, due to the increase in obesity and diabetes rates. AND now the exploitation could continue, obtaining from the seabed the minerals necessary for the batteries: cobalt, copper, nickel and manganese.
Electric cars, based on these elements, would benefit, like many other household appliances in common use. But at what price? “The president of Nauru, Lionel Aingimea, who, thanks to a clause of the Unclos convention, has exclusive control over 75,000 square kilometers of seabed in the North Pacific area of Clarion-Clipperton (between Hawaii and Mexico), has decided that now is the time to exploit its depths. It will initiate, with a subsidiary of The Metals Co, Nauru Ocean Resources, a mining project within 18 months. The only stop could come from ISA, the international seabed authority, which has 18 months, in fact, to complete its “mining code” and block the project, but in 30 years it has not even been able to establish the rules for offshore extractions. Potato-sized rocks called ‘polymetallic nodules’, found on the seabed at a depth of 4-6 km, they would be sucked in using huge underwater machinery“, Reports the newspaper La Stampa.
The Metals Co said deep-sea mining would be clean, as it would produce less waste and fewer emissions than onshore. But given the phosphate experience, there are reasonable doubts about the actual sustainability of this operation.
(image: phosphate extraction in Nauru)
#Pacific #atoll #ready #spoil #seabed #minerals #FormulaPassionit