"Controversial proposals to allow deep-sea mining will be centre-stage at global talks in Jamaica from Monday.
It comes after a two-year ban on the practice expired when countries failed to reach agreement on new rules.
Scientists fear a possible "goldrush" for precious metals beneath the oceans could have devastating consequences for marine life.
But supporters argue that these minerals are needed if the world is to meet the demand for green technologies.
The controversy was triggered in 2021 when the tiny Pacific Island of Nauru made a formal request to the International Seabed Authority (ISA) - the UN body that oversees mining in international waters - for a commercial licence to begin deep sea mining."