TripleDeep – The Deep Dilemmas: Deep Sea Mining for the new Deep Transition

TripleDeep – The Deep Dilemmas: Deep Sea Mining for the new Deep Transition

Illustration from NTNU Oceans

About the project

The deep ocean floor contains vast deposits of minerals that are necessary in renewable energy technologies. These minerals are expected to be in high demand due to the de-carbonization of the global economy and the transition to a net-zero economy.

But while the «blue minerals» may hold the key to a greener future, mining the deep seas raises many questions and dilemmas. Can these minerals be mined without causing massive and irreparable harm to the unique ecology of the deep oceans? Who will be allowed to exploit these minerals, and on what conditions? How can conflicts over control over minerals and markets be avoided? What rules and incentives are needed to attract responsible investors that can pay for the development of the necessary technology? Is it worthwhile to destroy unique and largely unknown habitats in the deep seas in order to address the climate crisis?

To answer these questions we must address significant knowledge gaps about the political, economic, technological and ecological dimensions of deep sea mining, and particularly how they interact with each other


The primary objective of the TripleDeep project is to investigate whether Deep Sea Mining can provide a new source of critically important minerals in a sustainable manner. 

The TripleDeep project group is an inter-disciplinary team consisting of historians, marine biologists,  economists and geologist/engineers. 


24 October 2023

TripleDeep Workshop Ponta Delgada

The TripleDeep team had another workshop in Ponta Delgada, on Sao Miguel Island, Azores (17-19 October). The goal of the workshop was to discuss challenges around deep-sea mining research from an interdisciplinary perspective. With help from key external guests from academia and beyond, we discussed key questions across the disciplines of geology, mining engineering, economics, deep-sea biology/ecology and history.

A special thanks goes to the University of the Azores for hosting our workshop!



30 November 2022

First project workshop 

The TripleDeep team just had its first two-day workshop. During these two days we focussed on the ways of creating an interdisciplinary team and fostering collaboration across the disciplinary boundaries.



Project Affiliations