November 2018 • Volume 2, Number 1                       Subscribe | Visit Website
Welcome to DSM Observer 's 2018 New Year Edition
As our readers return from holiday breaks and family gatherings, we embark together on what is shaping up to potentially be one of the most pivotal years yet for deep sea mining. Our Letter from the Editor reflects on milestones from 2017 and introduces the articles we brought you this month, a selection representing a portfolio of issues that will help shape 2018.
Challenges at Nautilus Continue

A series of internal and external pressures have been plaguing the Canadian deep sea mining firm Nautilus Minerals for months with no clear resolution in sight. DSM Observer breaks down the latest developments.

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Views from Africa: Interview with Uganda's Joshua Tuhumwire

Geologist Joshua T. Tuhumwire brings a wealth of mining experience into his role representing the African region on the ISA's Legal & Technical Commission. DSM Observer spoke with Mr. Tuhumwire to get his views on the future of deep sea mining.

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UN General Assembly to Advance High Seas Treaty Negotiations

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on 24 December to convene negotiations for an international treaty to protect the marine environments of the high seas. The first intergovernmental talks will take place September 2018.

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Upcoming Events

New Orleans, LA USA. 6-8 Feb 2018

Aberdeen, Scotland. 7-9 Feb 2018

Portland, OR USA. 11-16 Feb 2018

Toronto, Canada. 4-7 Mar 2018.

Kingston, Jamaica. 5-23 Mar 2018

Riviera Maya, Mexico. 7-9 Mar 2018

London, UK. 13-15 Mar 2018

Montreal, Canada. 13-16 May 2018

Kingston, Jamaica. 2-27 Jul 2018

To see all upcoming events, visit:
BBC Segment Spotlights PNG Deep Sea Mining

BBC News science editor David Shukman reports on the developing Nautilus Minerals deep sea mining project Solwara One in Papua New Guinea's Bismark Sea. The segment aired 17 December on BBC. Watch it at the link below.

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New Training Opportunities Announced

The International Seabed Authority (ISA) has announced fifteen training opportunities in five different Contractor Training Programs. Openings are designed for trainees from Developing States.

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Secretary-General Award for Excellence in Deep Sea Research
Secretary-General Michael Lodge has issued a Call for Nominations for the Secretary-General Award for Excellence in Deep Sea Research. The Award is intended to recognize and encourage the achievements of young researchers (under 35 years of age) from developing countries who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge of the deep sea environment or to the development of environmentally sustainable regulatory frameworks. The nomination deadline is 15 April 2018.

New Mineral-Sensing Technology Accelerates Ore Sorting

A new technology may accelerate ore sorting by illuminating batches of ore with short pulses of radio waves, assessing ore grade and enabling high tonnage sorting at rates of up to 5,000 tons per hour. The technology was developed by NextOre.

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Job Opportunities

Soil Machine Dynamics
Deadline: When Filled

Deadline: When Filled

Duke University
Deadline: 30 Jan 2018

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ISA Welcomes New Permanent Representative
In December, the International Seabed Authority welcomed Nigerian High Commissioner Janet Omoleegho Olisa as new Permanent Representative to the ISA. Secretary-General Michael Lodge pictured here with Commissioner Olisa.
Deep Sea Mining News Breakdown
Mining Journal releases 2017
‘Top of the Rocks’ List

At the end of each year, Mining Journal rolls out a ‘Top of Rocks’ list with their picks for the mining industry’s top 20 influencers of the year. The 2017 list, released on 11 Dec, showcases many of the big mining company CEOs and board chairs that you’d expect. But, as the journal points out, it’s “policies, currencies and commodity prices that have the greatest bearing on bottom lines.” To this point, we see some familiar faces among top ranks including China President Xi Jinping (#1), U.S. President Donald Trump (#2) , Tesla innovator Elon Musk (#7) and Janet Yellen, chair of the US Federal Reserve (#8). Lower on the list, but still among the top influencers of the year is Tanzania President John Magufuli (#16) . Mining Journal concludes that despite the battery metal influx (reflected in Musk’s position on the list) precious metals continue to dominate the listed resources patch – keeping policy makers, investors and miners of these commodities as top influencers.

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Mining Journal, 11 Dec 2017
Mongabay breaks down 2017’s top ocean news stories

Marine scientists from the University of California, Santa Barbara offered environmental science news platform Mongabay a breakdown of their picks for 2017’s top ocean news stories. The list includes the U.N. decision to advance negotiations on a high seas treaty and Japan’s pioneering large-scale mineral extraction project on a hydrothermal deposit off Okinawa. Commentary on the latter story also notes significant advances at the International Seabed Authority towards development of a working Mining Code

2017's Top 10 Ocean News Stories - Mongabay on DSM Observer, 27 Dec 2017
Sir David Attenborough positions against deep sea mining
Noted naturalist Sir David Attenborough told BBC in an interview that he is horrified at the idea of the destruction of hydrothermal vents. “That’s where life began and we shouldn’t be destroying these things, it’s so deeply tragic, that humanity just plough on with no regard for the consequences because they don’t know what they are,” he said after viewing video footage of the heavy machinery associated with Nautilus Minerals seafloor production tool submerged trials in Papua New Guinea. “It’s heartbreaking,” he concluded.

Loop, 19 Dec 2017
Copper rebounds to a 3-week high
Copper prices climbed to a 3-week high in mid-December after seeing a brief drop earlier in the month. cites Wall Street buying and higher industrial output from China as factors in the rebound. The metal is expected to continue to climb due to supply threats from potential union strikes in Chile. Bank of America predicts a return to prices above $7,000 during the first half of 2018, 17 Dec 2017
U.N. reports record electronic waste resulting in loss of minerals
The newly released Global E-Waste Monitor 2017 reveals that a record 45 million tons of electronic waste occurred in 2016. 7.2 million tons of this came from China alone, surpassing even the United States. The raw materials in the waste were worth an estimated US $64.61 billion and weighed the equivalent of 4,500 Eiffel Towers. The lost metals in disposed cellphones, computers and other gadgets include gold, silver, copper, platinum and palladium. The assessment was a joint effort of U.N. University, the International Telecommunication Union, and the International Solid Waste Association. They project an acceleration of e-waste to 52.2 million tons by 2021.

Reuters, 13 Dec 2017
New ROV ‘Pixel’ caters to underwater filmmaking

Marine Imaging Technologies (MITech) has introduced Pixel, the first ‘cinema class’ remotely operated vehicle (ROV). MITech Founder and veteran cinematographer Evan Kovacs engineered the multi-camera underwater filming and exploration platform with specific intent to facilitate cinema quality deep water storytelling. The ROV features a multitude of camera options with live video and control feeds, a lighting system capable of over 100,000 lumens, and a precision thruster configuration to perform smooth cinematic movements. MITech is planning additional ROVs to their cinema class line.

Subsea World News, 14 Dec 2017

DSM Observer is a free online resource for deep sea mining professionals, providing access to the latest news and information about the industry in a single place. Our monthly e-newsletter features updates on technology, business news, deep sea science, environmental issues and policy. 

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Submissions of guest editorials and multimedia content are welcome and will be considered on a case by case basis. 

DSM Observer is published by I am Wilderness, LLC . Editor: Arlo Hemphill.
Support for this project was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts

Photo credits this issue: Sampling seafloor rocks, NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Mountains in the Deep: Exploring the Central Pacific Basin ; PNG workers, Nautilus Minerals; Ugandan mine, Ugandan Department of Geological Survey and Mines (DGSM) ; Joshua Tuhumwire, International Seabed Authority; BBC broadcast, BBC World News; Sunset two boats, Max Pixel - Creative Commons; Sunset from boat, Arlo Hemphill / DSM Observer ; Secetary-General award graphic; International Seabed Authority ; Ore sorter , NextOre/CSIRO; Nigeria welcome, ISA; Top of the Rocks , Mining Journal; Waste Not graph, Bloomberg ; Manta ray, Greg Asner/ ; David Attenborough, BBC ; Copper prices,; Electronic waste graph , Global E-Waste Monitor; Pixel ROV , MITech