The International Seabed Authority and JOGMEC of Japan signed a 15-year contract for prospecting and exploration for cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts in Tokyo on 27‎ January 2014.‎
The contract was signed by the Secretary-General of the Authority, Nii Allotey Odunton and the President of JOGMEC, Hirobumi Kawano in the presence of State Minister Midori Matsushima of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Under the contract, JOGMEC will have exclusive rights for exploration for cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts over 3,000 square kilometres of the seabed in the Western Pacific.
JOGMEC is a State entity which implements national policies on natural resources and energy as an agency of the Government of Japan.  JOGMEC’s application for a seabed exploration licence was approved by the Council of the Authority on 19 July 2013.
JOGMEC is the fourteenth entity to be granted exploration licences by the International Seabed Authority but the first entity to sign a contract for exploration for cobalt crusts. 

(L-R) President of JOGMEC Mr Hirobumi Kawano, State Minister Ms Midori Matsushima  and ISA Secretary-General Nii Odunton at the signing ceremony

President Kawano of JOGMEC and Secretary-General Odunton answering questions at press conference after signature of contract.