International Seabed Authority, India Sign Exploration Contract

The International Seabed Authority (ISA) and the Government of India have signed a 15-year exploration contract for polymetallic sulphides.

The contract was signed on Monday, 26 September, in New Delhi, by the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, Nii Allotey Odunton and Dr M Rajeevan, Secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

The application area, located in the central Indian Ocean, covers 10,000 km² and consists of 100 blocks, each of 10 km by 10 km, which are grouped into five clusters, each containing from 15 to 30 blocks.

This area is confined within a rectangular area not exceeding 300,000 km² in size and where the longest side does not exceed 1,000 km in length.

The Government of India currently has an exploration contract with the Authority in the Indian Ocean for polymetallic nodules, which entered into force on 24 March 2002.