Jamaican Cabinet approves deep seabed mining

Jamaica Observer | March 4, 2019

Cabinet has given approval for Jamaica to enter the emerging industry of Deep Seabed Mining (DSM) through its sponsorship of Blue Minerals Jamaica Limited (BMJ), a Jamaican registered company.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade made the disclosure in a release this morning, noting that this “progressive and visionary step” will see Jamaica joining a select group of 20 countries including the UK, Germany, China, Korea, India and Belgium in deep seabed mining activities.

It is also a significant move for Jamaica which enters this industry on the heels of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) celebrating 25 years of exemplary service.

According to the ministry, the Government and Blue Minerals Jamaica Limited will be filing an application with the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for an Exploration License for Polymetallic Nodules in international waters.

Blue Minerals Jamaica CEO, Mr Peter Jantzen, presented the DSM case to the government in 2017.

He affirmed that “the process of working with the Jamaican Government has been open and extremely professional. It has shown Jamaica to be a visionary and growth-orientation country which is encouraging innovative investment and development. We look forward to growing the Blue Minerals Jamaica business and contributing to the economic growth and development of Jamaica”.

Blue Minerals Jamaica’s activities are focused on the collection of Polymetallic Nodules containing high concentrations of Nickel, Copper, Cobalt and Manganese.

The process of seeking approval for entry into the Deep Seabed Mining industry was a multi Ministry/Agency effort piloted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, advised by the Attorney General’s Office and supported by the Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister Mike Henry.

The foreign affairs ministry noted that deep seabed mining is essential to future sustainable global growth and as a major contributor to future demand for minerals which are required for global electrification, such as electric cars and electric infrastructure.

It also pointed out that nodules are lying on the surface of the seabed and are harvested by a collector through hydraulic suction.

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