KINGSTON, Jamaica (6 May 2015) – – The International Seabed Authority and the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources of the Federal Republic of Germany (BGR) have signed a 15-year contract for exploration for polymetallic sulphides in the Central Indian Ocean in the presence of Matthias Machnig, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

The Contract was signed on 6 May 2015, at Berlin, by the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, Nii Allotey Odunton, and the President of BGR, Professor Hans-Joachim Kümpel. 

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 is composed of 100 blocks which are situated along the Central Indian Ridge and the Southeast Indian Ridge.  The blocks are arranged in twelve non-contiguous clusters, with a minimum of five blocks per cluster. The blocks in each cluster are contiguous. The twelve clusters are confined within a rectangular area which has a length (NW-SE) of 949.8 kilometres and a width of 228.7 kilometres. The covered area is approximately 217,500 square kilometres in size.   

The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources of Germany also holds a contract for exploration for polymetallic nodules in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone which was signed on 19 July 2006.