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Acquiring marine mining territory rights in Indian Ocean 5.4 times the area of Jeju Island

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  • Date : 2012-07-27

Acquiring marine miningterritory rights in Indian Ocean 
5.4 times the area of Jeju Island

 

Acquired independent mining rights from ISA for explorationof marine hydrothermal deposits
in international waters of the Indian Ocean

 

Became third country after China and Russia to acquireindependent mining rights 
for marine hydrothermal deposits in internationalwaters

 

□  After the unanimous final approval at the 18th International Seabed Authority (ISA), the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs (Minister: Do Youp Kwon) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Minister: Sung Hwan Kim) announced that Republic of Korea has acquired rights to an independent mining area in the central marine ridge of international waters off the Indian Ocean for exploration of marine hydrothermal deposits,* an area approximately 10,000㎢ in size or about 5.4 times the size of Jeju Island (1,848㎢),.   

* Mineral resources that are created when metal ions make contact with cold water as magma heats up bubbling water like a hot spring at depths of 1,000~3,000m.  

 

○  The independent mining area for marine hydrothermal deposits in the Indian Ocean is Republic of Korea’s fourth overseas territory for marine mining, which follows the independent manganese mining nodule of international waters in the Pacific Ocean; the independent mining area for marine hydrothermal deposits in Tonga EEZ; and the independent mining area for marine hydrothermal deposits in Fiji EEZ. As a result, Republic of Korea has acquired a total of 112,000㎢ of overseas territory for marine mining, which is 1.12 times the nation’s total land area (about 100,000㎢).

 

○  As the third country to acquire independent mining rights to marine hydrothermal deposits in international waters, followed by China and Russia, Republic of Korea has proven to the international community that it has the capacity to lead the development of mining resources in deep seafloors.

 

□ Republic of Korea’s acquisition of an independent mining area in the Indian Ocean is the result of advanced investment and research by the Korean government and related agencies to seek marine resources and economic territories overseas, as well as successful persuasion of the international society amidst intense competition to acquire resources.

 

○  From 2009 to 2011, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs and the Republic of Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST) (President: Jung Keuk Kang), which is in charge of implementing projects, has made use of Republic of Korea’s world-class mining exploration capacity in deep seafloors to conduct basic exploration of a manganese nodule in the international waters of the Pacific Ocean and of marine hydrothermal deposits in Tonga EEZ. As a result, they have found other prospective areas and applied in May of 2012 for independent exploratory mining rights to the International Seabed Authority (ISA).

 

○  At the meeting of the ISA’s council and general assembly, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Republic of Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology made a compelling presentation about Republic of Korea’s exploration capacity, performance and its overall exploration plans for the mining areas. These efforts resulted in acquiring the mining area rights to marine hydrothermal deposits in Indian Ocean.

 

□ As the applicant for exploration rights, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs and the ISA will sign an exploration agreement after the end of 2012 and establish a detailed exploration strategy to begin the detail survey in full scale.

 

□ The Korean government plans to actively participate in the efforts of the international community for the sustainable development of international deep seafloors, as well as maximizing national interest by acquiring resources through the ISA.

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Last Update : 2019-11-19