A New Zealand company hoping to eventually mine phosphate from the ocean floor is to go ahead with the second term of its prospecting licence.
Chatham Rock Phosphate has an exploration license for more than 4200 square km of seafloor, 450km east of Wellington, and is developing a project to mine phosphate for use as a fertiliser.
Its four-year licence was granted for two, two-year terms.
Managing director Chris Castle says the company has achieved a huge amount over the last two years and wants to keep up the momentum so it can apply for a mining licence as soon as possible.
Mr Castle says the firm plans to spend at least $US2 million over the next two years on more mapping, analysis and feasibilitiy studies.
The work programme will be funded from capital raised through a share purchase plan. The company is also planning a listing on an overseas stock exchange.