Through a letter dated 25 June 2021, the President of Nauru, H.E. Mr. Lionel Aingimea, has requested that the Council of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) complete the adoption of the rules, regulations and procedures necessary to facilitate the approval of plans of work for exploitation in the Area pursuant to Section 1, paragraph 15 of the 1994 Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
In his letter the President of Nauru informed the President of the Council of ISA for the 26th session, H.E. Rear Admiral Md. Khurshed Alam, of the intention of Nauru Ocean Resources Inc. (NORI), a Nauruan entity sponsored by Nauru, to apply for approval of a plan of work for exploitation in the international seabed area (the Area) in two years.
ISA adopted regulations for prospecting and exploration for polymetallic nodules in 2000 (revised in 2013), for polymetallic sulphides in 2010 and for cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts in 2012. As required by its mandate under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, it then began the development of regulations to govern the exploitation of these mineral resources in 2014. Draft exploitation regulations were prepared by the Legal and Technical Commission of ISA following broad public consultations and were submitted to the Council for its consideration in July 2019. It is anticipated that the Council will resume its work before the end of 2021.
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