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Managing the Next Gold Rush

18 7 0
22.08.2019

WASHINGTON, DC – The International Seabed Authority (ISA) sits perched above the concrete boardwalk of Jamaica’s Kingston Harbor, across the bay from the spot where “Calico Jack” Rackham was once gibbeted as a warning to other eighteenth-century pirates. Today, this small United Nations agency rules the high seas – or, more precisely, the seafloor some three miles below – and yet it is largely unknown to the general public. But if China decides to retaliate against US import tariffs by restricting its exports of rare-earth elements, that could change fast.

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    Some 71% of the Earth’s surface is actually underwater, and the seafloor (or seabed) is rich in rare-earth elements and other sought-after minerals – especially in deep international waters. The ISA manages........

    © Project Syndicate