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India Expands Deep-Sea Mining As BMW Unveils Electric Car Vision

EV hype may be dying down, but the quest for natural resources to power them is only growing.

Knox Harrington profile image
by Knox Harrington
India Expands Deep-Sea Mining As BMW Unveils Electric Car Vision

India is expanding its deep-sea exploration ventures in the Indian Ocean with two more license applications, aiming for a total of four, in pursuit of critical minerals for renewable energy. The country has submitted applications to the International Seabed Authority (ISA), which is currently deliberating on mining regulations in Jamaica. These applications intend to explore polymetallic sulphides in the Carlsberg Ridge and cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts in the Afanasy-Nikitin Seamount, adding to the competitive search for vital resources like cobalt, nickel, copper, and manganese, shared among nations including China and Russia. These resources are instrumental for solar and wind energy, electric vehicles, and battery technology.

In 2022, India demonstrated its mining capabilities by successfully operating a mining machine at a 5,270m depth in the central Indian Ocean Basin, collecting polymetallic nodules. This effort is part of India's broader strategy to secure essential minerals for its ambitious renewable energy targets. The nation aims to boost its renewable capacity to 500 gigawatts and fulfill 50% of its energy requirements with renewable sources by 2030. Securing these minerals is deemed crucial for India to achieve these objectives and to reduce reliance on China, which currently dominates the processing of these materials.

The race for deep seabed mining has, however, ignited controversy. Environmental advocates caution against the possible irreversible harm to marine ecosystems, advocating for a moratorium on deep-sea mining until more is known about these environments. Contrarily, proponents argue that mining is essential to accommodate the rising demand for critical minerals.

Deep-sea mining's environmental and regulatory debates underscore a global challenge: balancing the need for critical resources to fuel the renewable energy transition with the imperative to safeguard marine ecosystems. As countries vie for these resources, the decisions made by entities like the ISA in Jamaica could shape the future of deep-sea exploration and its impact on both industry and the environment.

In unrelated automotive news, BMW has introduced the Vision Neue Klasse X, a concept car that provides a glimpse into the future of the company's electric vehicles. This announcement comes as BMW prepares to launch the iX3, part of a new generation utilizing a modular EV platform symbolizing the company's most significant financial commitment to date. This new range promises advances in battery technology, an 800-volt electric architecture, and ultra-fast charging capabilities. BMW's innovative computer controller, the "heart of joy," is set to enhance the driving experience, promising a return to a more analog feel in handling and unparalleled power in future models.

Knox Harrington profile image
by Knox Harrington

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