13 February 2013

Cook Islands Negotiating Extension To Marine Boundaries

Radio New Zealand International

Expansion could lead to huge revenues 
from seabed mining rights

The Cook Islands has sent a delegation to the United Nations in New York to negotiate an extension of the country’s continental shelf, which would give it seabed mining rights potentially worth millions. The delegation headed by Foreign Affairs secretary Jim Gosselin will present the application to the UN authority on seabed exploration.

The Foreign Minister, Tom Marsters, says the Cook Islands first presented its case in 2009 and this will be the third visit to the authority.

If successful, it will add over 400,000 square kilometers of continental shelf, which could eventually be mined.

"Basically what we’re looking at is the future possibility of prospecting for deep sea minerals where at the moment we are basically asking for an extension of the continental shelf which extends beyond our exclusive economic zone (EEZ)."

Tom Marsters says they don’t expect any challenges to their application and is hopeful it will be the last time they have to present their case to the authority.