Welcome to the latest issue of MINE Magazine.

This month, we look at deep-sea mining, the final frontier of mineral exploration and exploitation, which has long been touted as a potential source of riches and resources for the mining sector. Of course, concerns about the environmental impacts of the imposition of large-scale industry on an unexplored part of the planet has stymied development for years, and now both charities and national governments are calling for a complete ban on mining in deep-sea environments. 

However, this has not stopped investors and companies from investigating the potential for underwater mining creating a new power dynamic where once mining-friendly national governments are now at odds with the private firms they have courted for years. With the debate set against a backdrop of mystery, with much of the ocean floor still unexplored, we ask what the future could hold for deep-sea mining. 

Elsewhere, we ask what European mining could look like as the continent’s governments seek to distance themselves from reliance on Russian minerals, and consider how Europe could emerge as a source of funding for new mining projects in Africa. The continent may lack the raw mineral reserves of many other parts of the world, but this has not stopped European governments and companies from holding considerable influence over the global mining sector. 

We also go from Scotland to Kazakhstan to ask how new developments in gold mining and critical mineral exploration are bringing mining investment to countries not typically considered hubs of the extractive industries. Do countries such as these have the regulatory requirements and environmental protections in place to support large-scale mining, or will companies and governments have to adapt in these rapidly-changing sectors?

For all this and more, read on.

JP Casey, editor