Black Smoker from the Rainbow hydrothermal field, 2300m deep, within the area of the Portuguese Continental Shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. Courtesy of Prof. Fernando J.A.S. Barriga.
In 2013 China overtook the United States as the Number One consumer of energy in the world. Since 2009 Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, China, and South Africa (BRICS) have been meeting formally to consider issues they have in common as some of the fastest growing economies in the world. As these and other countries evolve from rural, farming and subsistence communities to urban, industrialized economies, the demands for the basic commodities of such growth, including particularly metals and industrial minerals, have led to a continuing increase in worldwide consumption of metals and mineral resources of all kinds. Though these growth rates have slowed down somewhat in the last two years, they have not reversed themselves, and the prospects for increased demands for metals and minerals continue to grow. The pressures on land-based mineral deposits will continue to grow and the pressures to consider seabed mineral resources to help supply these increased demands will inevitably continue to grow as well.
For some, the oceans are idealized as pristine, untouched environments that should be carefully preserved and protected from commercial activities. For others, the oceans offer new potentials for supplying the mineral commodities for developed and developing economies worldwide. The objective of this UMI is to consider how to honor both of these perspectives through careful environmental stewardship and policy formulation for the development of seabed mineral resources.
We seek technical, legal, regulatory, and political examinations of how to address this objective. As always, we will also consider other topics of timely interest to the prudent development of marine mineral resources worldwide.
The deadline for submission is April 30, 2014. The selection of presentations will be completed by May 31, 2014.
For commercial exhibits, please contact the Conference Coordinator for information.
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