9 Apr 2013

Huge potential for deep sea mining in the Cooks -Seabed Minerals Authority

3:31 pm on 9 April 2013

The Cook Islands Seabed Minerals Authority says the government could generate about 170 million US dollars from deep sea mining.

This follows a report into the country's mineral resource by a London-based professor of marine geochemistry, Professor David Cronan.

The findings reveal there are ten billion tonnes of nodules in the Cook Islands exclusive economic zone, including larger than expected quantities of cobalt, nickel and copper.

A minerals and natural resources advisor from the Seabed Minerals Authority, Darryl Thorburn, says there is tremendous potential for seabed mining in the Cooks, but it is early days.

"The technology has to be developed. As it's being developed, China government research centres are looking at it. The same thing for Korea, Japan and India."

Darryl Thorburn says he expects deep sea mining in the Cook Islands to be launched in about seven years.