The deep seabed is the final vast Earthly frontier of exploration, mining, production and development of rare earth minerals, hydrocarbons, including oil and gas, and other natural resources. Trillions of dollars’ worth of unmined rare earth minerals and other natural resources are on and underneath the deep seabed in the high seas. Mining the seabed for these critical natural resources is crucial to immediate and long-term U.S. economic and energy independence and national security.
Private U.S. investors and exploration and production companies, however, are not highly active in the deep-sea mining industry. Current U.S. deep seabed mining law is just too antiquated and inadequate to provide U.S. investors and exploration and production companies assurance and a well-developed legal framework to mine the deep sea.
The article “Update Deep-Sea Law To Spur US Mining Projects” published in Law360 highlights and analyzes current international and U.S. deep sea mining law, the inadequacies of current U.S. law and suggests paths forward.