Over the last several years, interest in deep sea mineral resources has considerably grown as a result of an increase in demand for metal, a decline in the grade and tonnage of land-based mineral deposits, and advances in seabed mining technology. The International Seabed Authority (ISA) has approved several contracts—including one with Keppel Corporation’s subsidiary, Ocean Mineral Singapore Pte Ltd—for the exploration of mineral resources in the ‘Area’, the ocean space beyond national jurisdiction.

Given these developments, CIL considers that it is important to study the issues of deep seabed mining. CIL’s events and research materials on deep seabed mining contribute to enhancing the understanding of deep seabed mining, promoting constructive ideas and suggestions, and raising awareness and building capacity on the issues. In particular, on 16–17 June 2015, CIL co-organised with ISA a Joint Workshop on Mineral Exploitation in the Area. The output of the workshop was a report that aimed to assist states and the ISA Legal and Technical Commission in developing a regulatory framework for mineral exploitation and developing and implementing a payment mechanism in the Area.