J’can company applies for exploration contract in Pacific Ocean
Blue Minerals Jamaica (BMJ) Limited, a company sponsored by the Government of Jamaica, has applied for approval of a plan of work from the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for the exploration of polymetallic nodules in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, located in the Pacific Ocean.
The application was submitted on June 4 and will be considered by the Legal and Technical Commission during its July 2020 session.
“BMJ is the first entity sponsored by the Government of Jamaica to apply for an exploration contract with ISA,” ISA secretary general Michael W. Lodge disclosed last week. “It is the fifth application received from a small island developing state and the first one from the Caribbean.”
He added, “I welcome BMJ to join ISA and other contractors in making further great advances for humanity in the exploration of the deep ocean and its resources.”
Polymetallic nodules contain nickel, copper, cobalt and manganese, which are the subject of increasing interest with the rise of green energy technologies required for a low-carbon future.
The area under application covers a total of 74,916 square kilometres divided into four blocks in ‘reserved areas’ held by ISA, which are set aside for the benefit of developing countries.
‘Reserved areas’ are a key component of the legal system established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to promote direct participation of developing countries in deep-sea mineral activities in the international seabed area.