"Exploring the Concept of Responsible Deep Sea Mineral Extraction" with Rudy Helmons (TU Delft & NTNU)

The Circular Industries Talks are organised every second Wednesday at the Circular Industries Hub. In this edition, Rudy Helmons, Associate Professor in Offshore and Dredging Engineering at TU Delft's faculty of Mechanical, Maritime, and Materials Engineering and Adjunct Associate Professor in Deep Sea Mining at NTNU explains his research, in his talk, titled: Exploring the Concept of Responsible Deep Sea Mineral Extraction. Curious for more? Take a look at the recording at the bottom of this page.

Insights from the maritime industry

Rudy Helmons

In Rudy Helmons' insightful talk, he delved into the intricate challenges of deep-seabed mining, a practice under consideration for sourcing minerals vital to renewable energy technologies in the era of global decarbonization. The discourse centered around the question of sustainability in this context, with Helmons acknowledging the inevitable environmental impacts of material extraction. He advocated for a phased approach, emphasizing the need for pilot initiatives to comprehend and test environmental thresholds before scaling up operations. Monitoring and comprehensive impact assessments were identified as essential components, requiring continuous oversight throughout the initiation of a deep-sea mining project.

Any extractive industry has an impact, yet there is uncertainty about the impacts. Scientists aim to unravel the impacts that are likely to occur.  Mining comes at a cost, but we must keep in mind that there are also costs of not mining."

Highlighting the legal dimensions, Helmons pointed to the United Nations 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea, a cornerstone in defining national territories and governance over the 'High Seas.' This legal backdrop underscored the importance of responsible practices in deep-sea mining, emphasizing the necessity of transparency and adherence to international frameworks. In essence, Helmons' talk not only spotlighted the potential of deep-sea mining for supporting a green economy but also underscored the imperative of a cautious, sustainable, and legally compliant approach to harnessing the valuable resources lying beneath the ocean floor.

Curious about the whole story? Listen to Rudy Helmons in the Circular Industries talks.

Watch it here

The Circular Industries talks

The goal of the Circular Industries talks is to share knowledge across Leiden, Delft, and Erasmus and to complement and deepen the knowledge already available within the Circular Industries Hub. The talks are organized on Wednesday morning from 10:00 to 11:00. The talks are online (Microsoft Teams).