As the first step in the implementation of the work plan approved by the Council in 2012 to develop a code for exploitation of deep seabed minerals, the Secretariat commissioned a preliminary study to identify the major organizational, fiscal and research priorities that the Authority would need to address over the next three to five years.

The draft study was completed in January 2013, and submitted to the Legal and Technical Commission for preliminary review and comment, following which a final report was completed. The study is now published as ISA Technical Study No. 11: Towards the development of a regulatory framework for polymetallic nodule exploration in the Area.

This study is a legal, technical and good governance exercise to determine how best to capture optimal benefits to mankind as a whole from mining while imposing a rational and realistic regulatory regime upon contractors that will allow mining with only the highest quality mining, social, environmental and fiscal practices.

An executive summary of the conclusions and recommendations from the study is also available in all official languages under symbol ISBA/19/C/5.