Open-ended Informal Working Group advances discussions on financial model for mineral exploitation in the international seabed area

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Representatives from Member States, civil society organizations and contractors, gathered at the International Seabed Authority (ISA) Headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica, this week, for an open ended informal working group meeting established to advance discussions on the financial model for mineral exploitation in the international deep seabed area.

Established by the ISA Council in July 2018, the working group was mandated to discuss and review the comparative study of alternative financial models prepared by experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During the two-day meeting, delegates reviewed four models and found that apart from some assumptions on which they were built, there were no major differences in their methodologies.

The Working Group agreed to propose to the Council that it continues to advance its discussions on the system of payments in July 2019 by examining the possible payment options.

ISA Secretary-General, Mr. Michael W. Lodge, emphasized the importance of stakeholder engagement in the development of the economic model, which is being considered as part of the draft regulations for deep seabed mining currently being developed by ISA, known as the ‘Mining code.’

“I am pleased to see so many Member States and observers here in Kingston for this important informal working group of the Council,” said Mr. Lodge. “This is a vivid illustration of the role of stakeholders in the development of the regulations for deep seabed mining, where all stakeholder inputs are encouraged.”

H. E. Ambassador Olav Myklebust, who chaired the meeting, will introduce his report at the 25th Session of the ISA Council, which begins on the 25th February 2019 at the Jamaica Conference Centre.

The MIT study is available on the ISA website: http://bit.ly/isa-wg

For more on the ISA Council visit: bit.ly/ISBA_25