HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 650: 23 January 2013

Seabed Minerals

Alex Herman has been appointed the Legal Officer for the Seabed Minerals Authority, which was established in June last year.
Herman has recently graduated with Honours in Law and Commerce Conjoint at the University of Auckland. Prior to returning, she completed a two month internship with the Seabed Minerals Office in Suva Fiji, where she was involved in assisting with legal issues, and the drafting of legislations.
Herman will be assisting with a range of legal matters surrounding the Seabed Minerals Act which is scheduled to come into effect on the 1st of March this year. The bill is the first of its kind in the world to be executed.
Seabed Minerals Commissioner, Paul Lynch, said the Act was passed through Parliament four years ago, however Government only recently decided to implement the Act.
Lynch said that once the Act is implemented, they will focus on drafting an international tender that aims to invite companies from across the globe to explore our economic zone and identify sites with abundance in Manganese Nodules. Companies will be able to apply for mining licenses once these areas have been identified.
Lynch assured that seabed mining is an environmentally method, however, harvesting is not expected to commence until the arrival of much needed technology which is likely to be completed in 2021.
The harvesting of Manganese Nodules has been a long-term dream for Government, who discovered its potential for extreme economic development through a Russian Survey conducted in the 1970s.
According to a 20 year research study by SOPAC, our economic zone will provide over a 100 years worth of nodules. Lynch described the Nodules as potato size minerals found on the seabed that is rich in cobalt, nickel, and copper – elements that are in very high demand by countries including China and India. Lynch predicts that harvests will generate close to $300million annually. All profits will be directed to the ‘Sovereign Wealth Fund’ established by MFEM. In addition to providing better employment opportunities, a portion of the funds will be allocated to government, and used to improve infrastructure, health, education, and so forth.

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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