JAMAICA, Kingston (12 May 2017) - - The International Seabed Authority and China Minmetals Corporation have signed a 15-year exploration contract for polymetallic nodules.
The exploration contract was signed on Friday, 12 May in Beijing, China by the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, Michael Lodge and the Chairman of China Minmetals Corporation, He Wenbo.
The allocated area covers a surface area of 72,745 km2 of the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone in the Pacific Ocean.
At the signing ceremony, Secretary-General Lodge said "China, and indeed the whole world, is facing a tremendous challenge – how can we meet an increasing metal demand in an environmentally sustainable way? In two weeks’ time, we shall be meeting at the United Nations in New York to discuss the challenges for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14; the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean and its resources".
"If we are serious about developing a blue economy, based on sustainable use of marine resources, and a low carbon future, we are going to need an increased supply of metals for the world economy. Renewable technologies for example require two to three times more steel per megawatt generated that conventional infrastructure. Increased supplies of strategic metals such as cobalt and tellurium will also be needed ".
"We also need to acquire these minerals without increasing our overall carbon footprint".
China is also sponsoring another contractor with the Authority for the exploration for polymetallic nodules in the Clarion Clipperton Zone since 2001, and for which a five-year extension was signed recently between Secretary-General Lodge and COMRA Secretary-General Liu Feng.
China also sponsors COMRA in contracts for exploration for polymetallic sulphides in the Southwest Indian Ridge and for exploration for cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts in the West Pacific Ocean.
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