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UK: Greenpeace, Deepwater Mining Licenses May Be Illegal

London, May 12 12:51 – (Nova Agency) Environmental groups have denounced the illegality of mining licenses granted by the United Kingdom to UK Seabed Resources (Uksr), a subsidiary of the multinational Lockheed Martin. According to Greenpeace and the Blue Marine Biodiversity Conservation Charity, the licenses would be contrary to the British government’s position on the exploitation of the sea floor. Activists have tried for two years to see the permits, but to no avail. Just last March, Lockheed Martin, an American company active in the aerospace and defense engineering sectors, revealed the licenses that the UK had granted ten years earlier to its subsidiary Uksr. In March, Greenpeace’s attorneys wrote to Coase Quarting, Britain’s Secretary of State for Economic and Energy Affairs, to highlight potential legal flaws in the licenses without receiving any response. The licenses, which detail the UK’s responsibilities as a sponsor of Uksr in its exploration of polymetallic nodules on the Pacific floor, appear to have been granted for fifteen years in contravention of British law, under which the initial maximum concession period cannot exceed ten years. (Continues) (Rel)

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