When the island nation of Nauru announced its plan to sponsor a deep-sea mining effort for battery materials, it caused concern among scientists and world leaders. This move would allow companies to extract minerals like nickel, cobalt, and copper from the ocean’s depths for the first time, raising alarm about potential damage to ecosystems that are not yet fully understood. The International Seabed Authority (ISA) was given a deadline to establish regulations for deep-sea mining by July 2023, but it is expected to miss this deadline. Once it passes, companies will be able to apply for permits to mine the deep sea. However, a growing group of governments and conservationists are urging the ISA to reject any mining proposals until a mining code or set of regulations is established. Many researchers argue that we still lack sufficient knowledge about the deep sea to create effective regulations that minimize environmental damage. Companies advocating for deep-sea mining argue that it would help mitigate human rights abuses associated with land-based supply chains for battery materials. However, experts like Pradeep Singh believe that rushing into deep-sea mining would only exacerbate existing problems and create new ones. Research suggests that mining activities could have harmful effects on marine life, including excessive noise and sediment plumes that would smother nearby ecosystems. In March, a report highlighted the irreversible damage that could result from deep-sea mining. The ISA claims that the mining code it is tasked with creating will protect the marine environment while outlining responsible access and use of resources crucial for fighting climate change. Companies like The Metals Company, sponsored by Nauru, need a country sponsor to apply for mining permits, and applications are expected to be submitted to the ISA soon. However, the outcome depends on an upcoming ISA meeting scheduled for July 10th. Due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is highly likely that regulations will not be in place by the arbitrary deadline set by Nauru in 2021. During the July meeting, the ISA will discuss how to handle these applications. It is expected to be a lengthy process before any actual regulations are implemented since there is still no agreement on acceptable levels of harm caused by deep-sea mining. Over a dozen nations, including Switzerland, have called for a moratorium or pause on deep-sea mining until further scientific research is conducted. A draft resolution will also be discussed in July, urging the Seabed Authority not to approve any work plans for proposed mining projects until all regulations are established. This resolution, if passed, could effectively halt deep-sea mining. However, it requires approval from two-thirds of ISA Assembly members, which includes delegates from 167 countries and the European Union, so there will likely be significant political negotiations ahead.