Ongoing Development of Regulations on Exploitation of Mineral Resources in the Area

The ISA is in the process of developing Regulations for Exploitation of mineral resources in the Area which is the ultimate regulatory phase in developing the common heritage of mankind. In the course of its work, it has undertaken several activities and issued the following documents:



The ISA launched a Stakeholder Survey aimed at soliciting relevant information for the development of a regulatory framework for the exploitation of minerals in the Area from members of the Authority and current and future stakeholders.  The Stakeholder Survey was the first in a series of stakeholder engagements anticipated by the Authority to begin the development of a regulatory framework which will incorporate contemporary best practice and from which the Authority expects to benefit from the in-depth views, analysis and opinions from experts on activities in the Area.


The Authority issued consultation documents to members of the Authority and all stakeholders:


Developing a Regulatory Framework for Mineral Exploitations in the Area
Discussion Paper on the Financial Terms of Exploitation Contracts


Revised Draft Framework and Action Plan

Also in 2015, members of the Authority and stakeholders were invited to comment on:

  1.  The suggested framework, high level issues and draft action plan [Stakeholder Submissions] and,

  2.  The development and implementation of a payment mechanism for exploitation activities in the Area [Stakeholder Submissions]. 



First Working Draft of the Regulations and Standard Contract Terms on Exploitation for Mineral Resources in the Area 
Comments to the Working Draft



Discussion Paper on the Development and drafting of Regulations on exploitation for mineral resources in the Area (Environmental matters)NEW


The following workshops directly related to the development of specific areas of the Exploitation Code were also held:

  • ISA Briefing Paper 4 | Workshop on Mineral Exploitation in the Area (Singapore 16-17 June 2015).

  • Conference Report | Workshop on the Deep Seabed Mining Payment Regime Workshop (San Diego, 17-18 May 2016)

  • Technical Study No.16 | Workshop on Environmental Assessment and Management for Exploitation of Minerals in the Area (Surfer’s Paradise, 23-26 May 2016)

  • Report | Workshop on Enhancing Stakeholder Participation and Transparency in the ISA Process (Ocho Rios, Jamaica, 16 July 2016)

  • Report | Deep Seabed Mining - Payment Regime Workshop (PRW) #3,(Singapore 19-21 April 2017


The Secretariat has also issued the following Discussion Papers:

  • Discussion Paper 1  |  April 2016:  Dispute Resolution Considerations Arising Under the Proposed New Exploitation Regulations

  • Discussion Paper 2  |  April 2016:  Data and Information Management Considerations Arising Under the Proposed New Exploration Regulations

  • Discussion Paper 3  |  April 2016:  Developing a Communications and Engagement Strategy for the International Seabed Authority to Ensure Active Stakeholder Participation in the Development of a Minerals Exploitation Code

  • Discussion Paper 4  |  June 2016:  Enforcement and Liability Challenges for Environmental Regulation of Deep Seabed Mining

  • Discussion Paper 5  |  March 2017: The Implementation of the Precautionary Approach by the International Seabed Authority