Abstract

Mining of deep ocean seafloor mineral deposits is still at minimum a few years away, and many questions still remain over the potential environmental impacts. This paper presents interim results of ongoing research examining the lifecycle sustainability of deep ocean resources in comparison to onshore equivalents, focusing. The research indicates that the likely differences in impacts of deep ocean mining will be primarily in the mining stage itself - some positive and some negative impacts in comparison to onshore mines - while the processing stages are likely to be effected by the grade and mineral species - particularly the sulphide components. However, these early stages are less energy intensive than later stages, making the overall impact of the mine of origin less significant.

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