4 Aug 2016

Second company keen on sea bed mining around Cook Islands

8:37 am on 4 August 2016

The Cook Islands says there is interest from a second mining company wanting to explore the country's seafloor for minerals.

Last month the Cook Islands Investment Corporation's chair, Mike Henry, signed a contract with the United Nations' International Seabed Authority giving it exclusive mineral rights to an area of 75,000 square kilometres in the Clarion Clipperton Fracture Zone.

The 7,240 km long mineral rich zone extends over millions of square kilometres in the north Pacific.

The Cook Islands News reports a joint venture agreement was also signed with Belgian company, GSR, giving it the possibility of exploring and exploiting the Cook Islands ocean floor minerals.

The Finance Minister Mark Brown, who is also the minister responsible for seabed minerals, said the Government was expecting to sign their second exploration licence with another company in the coming months.

He says it is a significant step forward for the country in its push to be involved in mining seabed minerals.