On 29 November 2023, the Legal and Technical Commission of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) confirmed the selection of one (1) candidate from a developing State to benefit from an internship opportunity provided by French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer) in accordance with its obligations under its exploration contract for polymetallic sulphides with ISA.

The selected candidate is Ms. Ann Wanjau from Kenya. The internship will take place in the Ifremer’s facilities of the Geo-Ocean laboratory (Ifremer/CNRS/Univ. Brest), in Brest, France for a duration of two to three months (approximately from February to the end of April 2024). The exact duration and dates will be confirmed closer to the start of the internship.

The objective of the internship is to acquire practical knowledge in:

  • geological sample preparation for mineralogical/geochemical analyses (crushing, milling, preparation of pressed powder pellets and/or glass beads);
  • mineralogical identification (X-ray diffraction, XRD); and
  • determination of major element compositions (X-ray fluorescence, XRF).

The specific objectives and activities of the internship will be the study of gabbros collected along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). It concerns approximately 150 samples. Gabbroic rocks, constituting the lower oceanic crust, were exhumed, and exposed on the seafloor along detachment and transform faults. Variable metamorphic and alteration degrees are identified in hand specimens, as well as different deformation stages. The detail of mineralogical changes though metamorphism then alteration following fluid-rock interaction, possibly related to deformation along fault planes, will be investigated on the basis of XRD analyses. The chemical evolution, including possible release or concentration of metals, during such processes will be studied with the XRF analyses. The inheritance of the protolith (e.g., rock type, mineralogy, mineral grain size and chemistry, deformation) could have a great impact on specific metal enrichments in polymetallic sulphides formed at hydrothermal fluids located on such rock substrates. Accordingly, the data obtained in the frame of this internship will contribute to the ongoing studies conducted by Ifremer on the geological environments surrounding active and low temperature hydrothermal districts identified along the MAR.

One of the Voluntary Commitments registered by ISA at the 2017 UN Ocean Conference (#OceanAction 40768) and reiterated at the 2022 UN Ocean Conference aims at “Advancing women’s empowerment in marine scientific research”– As partner of the Women in Deep-Sea Research (WIDSR) project, Ifremer has pledged to allocate 50% of the training opportunities to qualified women applicants.


All contractors with ISA have a legal obligation to provide and fund practical training opportunities for personnel from developing States and those of ISA, including the participation of such personnel in all activities in the Area which are covered by the contract.

The legal basis for the requirement stems from the provisions of UNCLOS and the 1994 Agreement and is set out in the standard terms of exploration contracts signed with ISA.

Please visit this page to know more about the Contractor Training Programme.

For additional information, please contact:

Ms. Annekah Mason, Training Coordinator, ISA, training@isa.org.jm