KINGSTON, Jamaica (9 November 2015) – – The International Seabed Authority and Companhia De Pesquisa de Recursos Minerais of Brazil (CPRM) have signed a 15-year contract for exploration for cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts in the Rio Grande Rise in the South Atlantic Ocean.

The Contract was signed today, 9 November 2015, in Brasília, by the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, Nii Allotey Odunton, and the Director-President of CPRM, Manoel Barretto da Rocha Neto.

The application for the exploration contract was approved by the Council of the International Seabed Authority on 21 July 2014.

The area allocated to the Contractor on the Rio Grande Rise is composed of 150 blocks, each with an area of 20 square kilometres. Each block is rectangular or square in shape. The blocks are grouped into eight clusters, each containing from five to 56 contiguous blocks. All the blocks are located within an area not exceeding more than 550 kilometres by 550 kilometres. Seven clusters lie on the summit of the Alpha sector of RGR. One cluster is located south-east of Alpha, on a seamount named Bravo.

This is the first Contract for exploration in the Rio Grande Rise and the fourth contract for exploration for cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts which has been signed with the Authority.