The International Seabed Authority and China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association (COMRA) signed a 15-year contract for exploration for cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts in Beijing on 29 April 2014.
The contract was signed by the Secretary-General of the Authority, Nii Allotey Odunton and the Secretary-General of COMRA, Jiancai Jin.
Under the contract, COMRA will have exclusive rights for exploration for cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts over 3,000 square kilometres of the seabed located in the Western Pacific Ocean.
COMRA’s application for a seabed exploration licence was approved by the Council of the Authority on 19 July 2013.
COMRA is the fifteenth entity to be granted exploration licences by the International Seabed Authority and the second entity to sign a contract for exploration for cobalt crusts.
Cobalt crusts are rich in iron/manganese (ferromanganese), and hydroxide/oxide deposits containing significant concentrations of cobalt, titanium, nickel, platinum, molybdenum, tellurium, cerium, other metallic and rare earth elements.