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The secretariat of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) is pleased to inform members of the Council, other members of the Authority not represented on the Council, as well as observers and contractors that a series of informal webinars will be organized with a view to providing information on the preparation of the comparative analysis of the financial aspects of seabed mining and land-based mining. It is recalled that this analysis was requested by the ISA Council.


During its meetings in February 2020, the Council requested the secretariat to prepare a comparative study of seabed mining and land-based mining before the next meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group of the Council in respect of the development and negotiation of the financial terms of a contract (OEWG),[1] expected to be held prior to the meetings of the Council during the second part of the twenty-sixth session.

The study will focus on the financial aspects and include the identification of:

(a)  The royalty rates;

(b)  The taxable base in those jurisdictions representing the bulk of production for the same or similar minerals and/or ores, e.g., manganese, copper, cobalt and nickel;

(c) Any environmental levies; and

(d) Any administrative fees.

The study will identify the average royalty rate(s) and methodology to determine a taxable base that would neither advantage nor disadvantage the contractors of the Authority in relation to land-based producers.

The study will also consider the corporate income tax regimes of major land-based producer jurisdictions and draw a comparison with those of sponsoring States and other States that would be involved in the entire value chain of contractors of the Authority.

Modalities of preparation of the study

Two consultants have been contracted by the secretariat, namely, RMG Consulting and CRU International Ltd., to prepare the study.

With a view to ensuring that the study provides a solid basis for further discussions, the secretariat will organize a series of informal interactive webinars.

The objective of the webinars is to enable stakeholders to understand better the methodology being applied by the consultants for the study and for the consultants to understand the concerns and positions of stakeholders with respect to the study and its methodology, with a view to presenting a report that commands broad support within the Council.

The webinars will be structured to: 1) enable the consultants to present participants with information on the methodology to be followed in the preparation of the study; and 2) receive any related feedback from stakeholders.

While interactive, the webinars are convened for information purposes and are not intended as a forum for negotiations; the informal negotiating process occurring within the OEWG. Nor are the webinars intended to constitute a stakeholder consultation.

Modalities of the webinars

Three webinars, of one to two hours each, will take place during the second week of June 2020 as follows:

8 June (11AM – 12:30PM)

11 June (11AM – 12:30PM)

12 June (11AM – 12:30PM)

ISA Observers

(Please register at: ISA Observers Webinar)

ISA Contractors

(Please register at: ISA Contractors Webinar)

Members of the Council and any other ISA member not represented on the Council 

(Please register at:ISA_Council_Webinar)

Interested stakeholders are invited to register in advance of the webinars through the appropriate link as provided above in the table.

Participation in the webinars will aim to be open while ensuring a manageable attendance to facilitate discussions. As a result, it may be necessary for technical reasons to close registration if the number of participants becomes too great, in which case, alternative arrangements will be made to enable those that could not attend to benefit from the information. The deadline for registration for each webinar will be three days before the respective session.

Follow-up to the webinars

A draft version of the study will be made available on the ISA website before the meeting of the OEWG. Details on the meeting arrangements for the OEWG will be provided through the appropriate channels in due course.

For enquiries please contact: Ms. Gwenaëlle Le Gurun, Legal Officer:


For more information visit our website or follow us on Twitter @ISBAHQ

[1] See ISBA/26/C/8, para.9 and 15.