The head of a South Korean mining company that has been given the green light to explore the seabed mining potential in Fiji says test drilling will determine the commercial viability of the activity.
The department has granted exploration licences to the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology or KIOST, Nautilus Minerals and Bluewater Minerals.
The Director of KIOST, Jang Wan Bang, says the company believes there is potential for mining copper, gold, silver and zinc.
"Through the process we will know how deep its working tide and then with that we can be estimating the recuperable deposits. So that is very, very important for us to find out whether it is commercially viable or not."
Jang Wan Bang says KIOST will begin deep sea test drilling for sea floor massive sulphides in about three years time.