The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty
The Madrid Protocol - Main Points - 11 slides

2 - Mining Ban

"Any activity relating to mineral resources, other than scientific research, shall be prohibited"

This means mining and fossil fuel extraction such as oil and gas. There is no time limit on this, though it sometimes thought to be 50 years as this is the time from the start of the Madrid Protocol to when it will be reviewed again.

Mining could be theoretically be reinstated at any time with the unanimous agreement of all Treaty signatory nations, though this is highly unlikely. At a meeting on the 25th anniversary of the protocol in 2016, a "Strong and unequivocal commitment" to the mining ban was made.

Antarctic treaty main points

Seismic explosions such as this one are only allowed for scientific research and not for prospecting.

First      Previous     Next


Antarctic Treaty overview  |  more "quick looks"

picture courtesy: Martin Reed & NSF