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BPC Launches Stakeholder Consultation on EIS For Polymetallic Nodule Mining Component Test

BPC Launches Stakeholder Consultation on EIS For Polymetallic Nodule Mining Component Test

Beijing Pioneer Hi-Tech Development Corporation Ltd. (BPC), an exploration contractor sponsored by the Government of the People’s Republic of China, has informed the Secretariat of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) of the launch of a stakeholder consultation on the environmental impact statement (EIS) prepared for the testing of its polymetallic nodule mining component. BPC signed its 15-year exploration contract with ISA for the exploration of polymetallic nodules in the Western Pacific Ocean on October 18, 2019.

BPC plans to conduct a 1:5 scale test of its deep-sea polymetallic nodule collection and buffer station in Block M2 of the contract area, specifically within a 500 m x 500 m area of the Magoshichi Guyot, in the second half of 2025. This test aims to verify the reliability of the suspended collection method and the buffer station joint. The contractor intends to carry out the environmental impact assessment of the test activities on the basis of preliminary environmental baseline data collected, as well as environmental monitoring data obtained during and after the test.

The testing proposed by BPC is a prerequisite for assessing potential environmental impacts as outlined in the "Recommendations for the guidance of contractors for the assessment of the possible environmental impacts arising from exploration for marine minerals in the Area" adopted in 2020 and revised in 2023 by the Legal and Technical Commission.

In this context, this public consultation is intended to serve as a platform for all interested stakeholders to review and provide feedback on the EIS. The consultation period will close on 6 June 2024.


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