The Beijing Pioneer Hi-Tech Development Corporation and the International Seabed Authority (ISA) have signed a 15-year contract for the exploration of polymetallic nodules in the international deep seabed area. This is the first exploration contract signed by ISA for polymetallic nodules in the western Pacific Ocean.
Polymetallic nodules contain nickel, copper, cobalt and manganese, which are subject of increasing interest with the rise of green energy technologies required for a low-carbon future. The exploration contract covers a total area of 148,250 km2 divided in two parts of equal estimated commercial value, with one part allocated as a ‘reserved area’ to ISA, for the future benefit of developing nations.
“The Beijing Pioneer Hi-Tech Development Corporation is the third entity sponsored by the Government of China, along with COMRA and China Minmetals,” said ISA Secretary-General Mr. Michael W. Lodge at the official signing ceremony held in Bejing, China on Friday 18 October. “I welcome the Beijing Pioneer Hi-Tech Development Corporation to join ISA and other contractors in making further great advances for humanity in the exploration of the deep ocean and its resources.”
This is the 30th exploration contract signed by ISA and the 18th contract for the exploration for polymetallic nodules.
The exploration application was approved by the ISA Council at its 25th Session held in July 2019 in Kingston Jamaica.
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