Pacific Island Countries and Territories have completed a draft regional agreement on Deep-Sea Minerals to support responsible management of seabed resources across the region.
The draft agreement was refined at the Pacific Regional Deep-Sea Minerals Workshop held by the Pacifc Community in Nadi last week.
The draft agreement includes the development of legislative frameworks to support sustainable evidence-based approaches to deep sea mining.
To date, Nauru and Tonga have sponsored foreign companies to secure exploration tenements in their jurisdiction, whilst Kiribati and the Cook Islands have established state-owned-enterprises to explore deep sea mining.
Canadian company Nautilus Minerals recently said it had secured finance to advance its controversial Solwara 1 project in Papua New Guines's Bismarck Sea.
Final consultations on the draft agreement are expected to be completed by October - with the final agreement to be tabled to Pacific leaders in 2019.