THE INTERNATIONAL Seabed Authority has decided to develop work on framing regulations for the exploitation of newly discovered submarine mineral deposits in international waters, which are expected to yield copper, iron, zinc, silver, gold and cobalt.

These hydrothermal polymetallic sulphides and cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts lay beneath waters that are beyond national exclusive economic zones and so under international law, the authority controls all exploration and exploitation.

The sulphides are found near volcanic hot ...

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