Blue Minerals Jamaica Ltd. (BMJ) and the International Seabed Authority (ISA) have signed on 16 March 2021 a 15-year contract for the exploration of polymetallic nodules in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ) in the Pacific Ocean. The contract, which came into force on 4 April, marks the starting point of BMJ initial 5-year workplan, which will focus on exploration of its license area as well as setting the baseline for its environmental planning.
Polymetallic nodules are a source of nickel, cobalt, copper and manganese. The geographical area available for exploration by BMJ in the CCZ covers almost 75,000 km2, made of parts of reserved areas contributed by UK Seabed Resources Ltd, the government of the Republic of Korea and the Interoceanmetal Joint Organization.
The system of so-called “reserved areas” ensures that developing countries can access deep-sea mineral resources. Reserved areas are contributed when States apply to ISA for exploration rights. They are then held in a “site bank” which is reserved for access by developing countries or for the Enterprise.
“Blue Minerals Jamaica is proud to be a part of the development of an industry which, under the regulatory control of the International Seabed Authority, is providing industrial opportunities to developing countries such as Jamaica, while at the same time engaging in sustainable minerals collection,” said BMJ Director, Peter H. Jantzen. “Blue Minerals Jamaica is proud to be part of the effort to secure the supply of metals to the global electrification process in the decades ahead and thereby play our part in the global effort towards decarbonation,” he added.
The contract is sponsored by the government of Jamaica, the host country of ISA. Jamaica hence becomes the second Caribbean country and the sixth small island developing State to sponsor a contractor for exploration in the Area.
“Jamaica welcomes the recent signing of an exploration contract between ISA and our sponsored entity, Blue Minerals Jamaica. As a small island developing state and one which is deeply committed to supporting the Authority in achieving its mandate, we embrace the opportunity to support participation in deep-seabed mining. We look forward to its contribution to the economic growth and development of Jamaica,” said Ambassador Alison Stone Roofe, Permanent Representative of Jamaica to ISA.
This brings the number of contracts granted by ISA for exploration of polymetallic nodules in the international seabed area to nineteen and the total number of contracts to thirty-one.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Ms. Stefanie Neno, Communications Specialist, ISA, email@example.com