The International Seabed Authority and G-TEC Sea Mineral Resources NV (GSR) of Belgium signed a 15-year contract for prospecting and exploration for polymetallic nodules on 14 January 2013.The contract was signed by the Secretary-General of the Authority, Nii Allotey Odunton and the Managing Director of GSR, Jacques Paynjon. Under the contract, GSR will have exclusive rights for exploration for polymetallic nodules over 76,728 square kilometres of the seabed in the eastern part of the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone of the Central Pacific Ocean.

GSR is a private company incorporated in Belgium, with its head office located at Ostend. The company’s application for a seabed exploration licence was approved by the Council of the Authority on 26 July 2012. The application is sponsored by the Government of Belgium.

Twelve other entities have been granted exploration licences by the Authority since the Nodule Regulations were adopted on 13 July 2000.