In 2012 and 2014, the Department of Mineral Resources granted three prospecting rights for marine phosphate covering approximately 10% of South Africa’s exclusive economic zone. In response to concerns that unsustainable bulk marine sediment mining will soon be authorised in South Africa, a group of organisations formed the Safeguard our Seabed Coalition. Since 2015 the Safeguard our Seabed Coalition, of which the International Ocean Institute – Southern Africa is a member, has been pursuing a moratorium on bulk marine sediment mining in South Africa.
There is relatively limited knowledge on the socio-economic and environmental impacts of bulk marine sediment mining. As such, the Safeguard our Seabed Coalition has developed a series of Fact Sheets to raise awareness on the risks and impacts associated with bulk marine sediment mining.
The Fact Sheets aim to provide an introduction to decision-makers and other interested parties on the risks posed by bulk marine sediment mining in South Africa, the status of seabed mining internationally and the rationale for why a cautious approach to bulk marine sediment mining should be adopted in South Africa.
There is limited knowledge and unanswered questions related to several aspects of bulk marine sediment mining. In response to this lack of available knowledge the Safeguard our Seabed Coalition has commissioned a number of scientific studies to inform decision-makers and provide a tool for rational decision-making and policy around marine phosphate mining in South Africa. You can access these studies here or click on the individual studies below.