The International Seabed Authority and the Government of India have signed a 15-year exploration contract for polymetallic sulphides.
The application area, located in the central Indian Ocean, covers 10,000 km2 and consists of 100 blocks, each of 10 km by 10 km, which are grouped into five clusters, each containing from 15 to 30 blocks. The application area is confined within a rectangular area not exceeding 300,000 km2 in size and where the longest side does not exceed 1,000 km in length.
The contract was signed Monday, September 26, in New Delhi, India by the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, Nii Allotey Odunton and Dr. M Rajeevan, Secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
The Government of India currently has an exploration contract with the authority in the Indian Ocean for polymetallic nodules, which entered into force on March 24, 2002.