4 Oct 2017

Cooks govt enters into ocean mining agreement

9:24 am on 4 October 2017

The Cook Islands government has entered into an agreement with a company called Ocean Minerals to reserve 23,000 square kilometres of the country's exclusive economic zone for up to 18 months.

A manganese-crusted rock sample being grabbed from the Te Tukunga o Fakahotu dive site, just north of the Manihiki Plateau, near the Cook Islands.

A manganese-crusted rock sample being grabbed from the Te Tukunga o Fakahotu dive site, just north of the Manihiki Plateau, near the Cook Islands. Photo: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Mountains in the Deep: Exploring the Central Pacific Basin.

The agreement which earned the government $US71,000 gives the company the exclusive right to apply for licensing to undertake prospecting and exploration activities for manganese nodules.

If Ocean Minerals does apply for an exploratory license within the agreed timeframe, the company will be expected to go through the necessary processes required by the Cook's Seabed Minerals Act, the recently passed Marae Moana Act, and the Environment Act.

This is the second agreement negotiated with the company.

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