The UK Government sponsored two 15 year deep sea mining exploration licences. The licence holder has contracts of exploration with the UN’s International Seabed Authority (ISA) which obliges them to undertake a plan of work. We have not received any further applications for exploration licences and do not expect to be granting any further exploration licences at this time.
There are no plans to vary the Government’s policy towards deep-sea mining at this time. The UK Government will continue to deploy its expertise and influence at an international level to ensure sufficient scientific evidence about the potential impact on deep-sea ecosystems and enforceable environmental standards is established.