The project(s) will be part of an ongoing effort intended to provide valuable insights into the potential environmental impacts of polymetallic mining. Since 2014, the JPI Oceans Joint Action has played a crucial role in advancing the scientific understanding of ecologic effects emerging from deep-sea mining through two transdisciplinary research projects, MiningImpact I and MiningImpact II. These projects have demonstrated the benefits of integrated scientific research and have provided scientific evidence necessary to inform the development of international governance and regulatory frameworks for seabed resource exploitation.
One or more new research projects will be selected after a separate call for research proposals and are expected to run from 2025-2029. The project(s) will build further on the foundation of the previous projects. As part of their scope-independent fieldwork, assessing the impact of a full-scale polymetallic mining test (including a riser system) will be encouraged. The intention is that the monitoring of an industrial mining test can reduce uncertainties around the discharged sediment plume and its impact on the pelagic ecosystem through toxic substances, suspended particle concentrations, and sediment deposition.
JPI Oceans is soliciting expressions of interest from:
- Industrial operators intending to conduct a polymetallic nodule mining test or seafloor massive sulfide mining trial between 2025-2029, with an interest in coordinated efforts in the field (side-by-side, under separate control but with a view to make these potentially mutually beneficial).
- Enterprises considering opportunities for practical, testing or development activities, such as the integration or pilot testing of new (environmental monitoring) technologies in the domain of deep-sea mining or deep-sea habitat (baseline) surveys.
With the intended alignment of endeavors, stakeholders may e.g. have their mining/monitoring procedures or technologies independently assessed by a team of interdisciplinary experts. The scientific results are expected to contribute to the development of a sustainable and evidence-based governance framework for deep-sea mining.
The initial expression of interest should provide the basic information which would allow research project(s), to engage in a dialogue with the initiators with a view to accommodate the feasible ideas into the more detailed project(s) plan(s).
Interested entities are can express their interest through the following application form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org by 14 November – 17:00 CET.
- The research project(s) will work in full independence of the private sector partners;
- Regulatory requirements regarding state-aid and competition will be observed;
- Transparency is key. All results deriving from the public funded project(s) will be made available through open data and open access publications and databases;
- Enterprises will gain insights from the project(s) concurrently with the wider community, ensuring a level playing field in access to the resultant data.
- Research projects working in partnership with private sector entities should not serve as substitutes for environmental impact assessments related to test mining activities or technologies. Private sector entities are responsible for funding separate assessments if mandated.
The selection of a private sector partner will be conducted by the call management committee based on the following criteria:
- Technological capabilities: The partner should have the necessary technological capabilities;
- Compliance with regulations: The partner should be compliant with all relevant regulations and guidelines related to the activities it will be conducting;
- Track record: The partner should have a track record of successful tests and/or similar collaborative activities.
As in previous phases, the successor activities on the ecological aspects of deep-sea mining will focus on studying environmental impacts and risks but not fund or develop mining activities or technologies. Furthermore, implementing the Joint Action does not imply that JPI Oceans or its Member Countries neither endorse nor disapprove of seafloor mining and related operations.
Willem De Moor - Willem.email@example.com