Expert advocates training of young professionals in deep sea mining

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By Martha Agas

A mining engineer, Josiah Stephen, has appealed to the Federal Government to invest in training young professionals in the geosciences sector to become major players in Deep Sea Mining (DSM).

This is to enable them to become major players and contributors to the emerging industry of deep sea mining.

Stephen, who is also a lecturer at the Federal University of Allied Health Sciences (FUAHSE) in Enugu, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.

According to him, DSM is the process of extracting mineral resources from the seabed in deep ocean waters.

He explained that DSM, an emerging industry offered many opportunities for economic gain.

He, therefore, urged the government to invest in research and building the technical expertise of geoscientists, particularly the young professionals.

“We can be involved in manpower development and research by trying to train and retrain young people that can be able to be industry players, academicians or technical people within the sector or the industry.

“I will indulge Nigerian government to train young people within that sector and even players that are already in the industry.

“Professionals can also get more professional training within the area of deep-sea mining and actualise our blue economy ambition as a country.

“The critical minerals such as cobalt, copper and lithium, which are essential for transitioning from fossil fuel-dependent energy to sustainable, renewable sources, are found not only on shore but also off shore.

“The critical minerals offshore are usually more concentrated and higher in quality, which is why some developed countries are already investing in them,”he said.

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He also said it was a sector that nations such as Norway, India and China were capitalising on to boost their economies and support the energy transition.

Stephen stated that in every sector of the extractive industry, there was always concern for the environment, including compensation to local or host communities and taxes to the government, and the DSM sector was no exception.

He further explained that there would usually be an upheaval regarding legislation and rights to safe-guard, while also protecting the marine and aquatic communities.

The expert said that there have been several conferences and other events that brought together governments, multinationals, academia and other industry stakeholders to deliberate and legislate on the viability and sustainability of the area.

According to him, DSM is here to stay, as many countries and international mining companies have already obtained licenses and approval to begin DSM activities.

NAN reports that proponents of deep-sea mining argue that it can help meet the world`s pressing need for critical minerals, which is likely to continue growing as countries scale up their decarbonisation efforts. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Abiemwense Moru

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