SPC Geoscience Division



Pacific countries are being urged to protect their deep sea mineral resources as commercial interest rapidly grows in the region.

One company is planning to undertake the world's first deep sea mining project in Papua New Guinea and there's growing interest elsewhere.

Jonathan Lowe from Nautilus Minerals told ONE News their initial focus is on copper, gold, zinc and silver.

However extracting it from 1-2 kilometres below sea level, has always been the issue - until now.

Commercial groups are currently starting to sign up exploration licences around the region and Pacific governments are being urged to protect themselves and negotiate the best deal with interested companies

"They are making heavy investments. They are going to push very hard to get as much of the proceeds as possible," said Dr Jimmie Rodgers, Director of General South Pacific Community.

"Governments need to be very clear on what it is they want to get out of this. They have to have definite milestones that are not negotiable."