A company based in Takaka, which hopes to mine phosphate from the Chatham Rise, is now also eyeing opportunities in Namibia.
Chatham Rock Phosphate has applied for five prospecting licensees in offshore Namibia, covering about 45 square km.
The company is developing a project to mine phosphate for use as a fertiliser, and already has a license to explore more than 4200 square km of seafloor, 450km east of Wellington.
Managing director Chris Castle says the prospects in Namibia are at similar depths to those on the Chatham Rise and extraction costs appear to be lower.
He says processing the licence applications could take a few months.
Meanwhile, Mr Castle says the company is close to applying for a mining licence for the Chatham Rise.