Magazine article UN Chronicle

Preparatory Commission Welcomes China as Fifth Pioneer Investor

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Preparatory Commission Welcomes China as Fifth Pioneer Investor

Article excerpt

The Preparatory Commission for the International Seabed Authority and for the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, at its ninth regular session (25 February-22 March, Kingston), welcomed China as the fifth nation to be approved as a pioneer investor in seabed mining under the terms of Resolution II of the Third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea (1973-1982).

France, India, Japan and the USSR have already been registered as pioneer investors. They are assured of receiving mining contracts from the Authority after the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea enters into force.

On 13 March, the Commission received an application from Bulgaria, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Poland and the USSR, seeking to register the Interoceanmetal Joint Organization as the sixth pioneer investor. The application, along with supporting documents, will be reviewed by a group of technical experts that is to report back to the Commission at its next session (12-30 August 1991, New York).

Pioneer investors are granted exclusive rights to explore designated areas of the international seabed. Their obligations include payment of a $1 million annual fee to the Authority, provision of training for personnel designated by the Commission, transfer of technology to the Enterprise--the seabed mining arm of the Authority--and exploration of a mine site for an Enterprise operation.

China's application for exploration rights in a 150,000 square kilometre portion of the north-east Pacific Ocean was approved by the Commission on 6 March. …

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