21 Oct 2011

SPC lawyer keen to help develop legal framework for deep-sea mineral exploration

11:48 am on 21 October 2011

A lawyer with a division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community says she aims to help member countries develop the legal framework to allow for deep-sea mineral exploration and mining.

Hannah Lily, who's with the SPC's Pacific Geoscience Commission, says they want to ensure countries have robust laws that can regulate and monitor deep sea mineral mining.

She says they want to help protect the countries from any damage that may occur, but at the same time facilitate mining as a new revenue stream.

Deep sea mining is expected to get underway in the Pacific within two years with Canadian company, Nautilus Minerals, planning to mine sulphide deposits off of the coast of New Ireland in Papua New Guinea.

Both Tonga and Nauru are also pursuing exploration licenses in international waters in the east Pacific.