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Regulators gird as miners eye the seafloor

UNITED NATIONS -- With a global commodities boom toppling price records for base metals, miners are going to sea. The Australian mining company, Nautilus, recently inked a deal with the government of Papua New Guinea to dig the world's first large-scale marine gold and copper mines in its territorial waters, adding industry giants Anglo American and Teck Cominco as partners in the venture. Startups such as Subsea Minerals and Namdeb are set to begin diamond mining off the coast of Africa and could soon expand to metals. "The interest in seabed commercial mining, commercialization, is growing," said Satya Nandan, secretary-general of the Kingston, Jamaica-based regulatory authority.

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