Background on DSM

Economics, technology, and geopolitics are pushing exploration and development of mineral resources into new frontiers. Frontier mining, including deep seabed mining (DSM), presents opportunities and risks for key stakeholders including industry, NGOs, governments, and communities. DSM is a rapidly emerging frontier activity both in marine areas under national jurisdiction and in the area beyond national jurisdiction (or the Area). DSM in the Area is regulated through the International Seabed Authority (ISA), but the regulatory regime is incomplete. The ISA is undertaking a process of developing its regulatory framework, or exploitation code, and a first draft of this code was issued in July 2016.  Another version of the code was issued in August 2017.

Since 2014, RESOLVE, with various partners, has worked to bring together stakeholders involved in a variety of DSM-related endeavors to provide input on best practices for transparency in DSM, analyze the economic benefits to be derived from DSM within and beyond national jurisdiction, and investigate potential mechanisms for sharing such benefits. Thus far, projects undertaken include:

For more information on RESOLVE’s DSM-related efforts, please contact Senior Mediator Paul De Morgan.