101 East

Should we mine the Pacific Ocean to power a green energy future?

101 East investigates how the Pacific Ocean could be the first frontier of deep-sea mining.

Resource companies and island nations are scouring the Pacific Ocean for vast untapped minerals.

Trillions of rocks found on the seabed contain metals that could power electric cars and green energy.

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The Cook Islands government believes deep-sea mining could contribute to the fight against climate change and end the country’s economic dependence on tourism.

But environmentalists say extracting minerals from 5,000 metres (16,400 feet) beneath the ocean’s surface could be catastrophic for fragile marine ecosystems the scientific world knows little about.

With deep-sea mining likely to start in 2024, 101 East investigates how it could affect the world’s largest ocean.

This documentary was produced in collaboration with SBS Australia and supported by the Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism through the Walkley Public Fund.