24 Oct 2011

Belgium ambassador discusses deep sea mining in Cook Islands

7:30 am on 24 October 2011

Belgium's ambassador to the Cook Islands has concluded a ten-day visit offering support in the islands' possible quest to explore deep sea mineral mining.

The Canberra-based diplomat Patrick Renault has met various government officials while also having lenghty discussions with the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.

The Cook Islands Foreign Affairs and Immigration secretary, James Gosselin, says amongst discussions was the topic of the country's desire to explore its sea bed minerals and their potential mining

"'What the ambassador has told us is that four of the leading world firms in deep sea dredging are actually Belgian firms. Dredging technology and operating at great depths on the sea bed will obviously be of considerable relevance to work we might undertake further down the track."

James Gosselin.

Dr Gosselin says another key topic of discussion was renewable energy.

The Cook Islands aims to satisfy 50 per cent of its energy requirements through renewable energy by 2015.