Whilst the Ministry of Marine Resources is responsible for our ocean, the new Act covering “Seabed Mining” comes under the Ministry of Finance. Daryl Thorburn has been appointed Seabed Mineral Advisor funded by the Commonwealth Secretariat in London.
We now have the framework in place for the exploitation of our polymetallic nodules on the seafloor, which make the Cook Islands the richest country of these resources. Hon Tom Marsters, DPM, has had a passion about accessing this resource since he travelled on a research vessel some 25 years ago. The challenge is that our seabed is 4miles down and no viable commercial operation has ever mined at that depth. FYI mining licenses now appear to be available for purchase.