KINGSTON, JAMAICA 11 December 2010 – – The adoption at the sixteenth session of the Authority of the regulations for prospecting and exploration for polymetallic sulphides was  an important achievement for the Authority made possible by the positive commitment shown by member States in concluding the negotiations on the draft regulations.

In his speech at the 65th session of the General Assembly, ISA Secretary-General, Nii  Allotey Odunton said one of the reasons why it was so important to establish a regulatory framework for sulphide exploration was because of the possibility that one or more States would wish to apply for exploration licences in the near future.  Since the adoption of the regulations, two States have submitted applications for exploration licences.

Secretary-General Odunton continued that another milestone for the Authority in 2010 was the decision by the Council to request an advisory opinion from the Seabed Disputes Chamber. This was a significant development for the Convention regime as a whole in that the making of the request, and the manner in which it was dealt with by the Council and the Chamber, demonstrates that the system set out in the Convention works. The fact that the Authority and its political organs were willing and able to respond to difficulties in the interpretation of provisions of the Convention in a responsible and constructive manner should give great comfort to individual States parties as well as to the future seabed mining industry.