A lawyer with a division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community says deep-sea mineral exploration and mining will be hugely beneficial to the Pacific Islands.
Hannah Lily, who's with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community's Pacific Geoscience Commission, aims to help member countries develop the legal framework to allow for deep-sea mining.
Ms Lily says deep sea mining is expected to get underway in the Pacific within two years with Canadian company, Nautilus Minerals, planning to mine sulphide deposits off the coast of New Ireland in Papua New Guinea.
"If a state contracts with a mining company or an exploration company to come and work within their terriorial waters, to explore the mineral, or eventually to exploit the minerals then those minerals are owned by the state and by its people."
The newly appointed Legal Advisor for the Sea Minerals Project, Hanna Lily.