By Frederica Elbourne
THE Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute Minerals South Pacific Limited will not leave any stone unturned in its search for mineral ore beneath the seabed of demarcated areas of Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone, reports The Fiji Times.
And with $55.5 million invested into a six-year licence granted by the Fiji government, KORDI Minerals South Pacific Ltd could throw in an additional $89.3 million to start off commercial mining if the findings indicate potential for what could be Fiji’s first seabed mining venture.
That being the case, the company will have to build its own remote operated vehicle for the exercise, KORDI Minerals South Pacific Ltd, director Jang Wan Bang said.
Mr Bang said sonar mapping of the seabed in one of the key areas of the north basin in Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone will be completed this week.
“We carried out a scientific research from 2003 to 2006 over the three identified areas and found potential seafloor massive sulphide in those areas.
“We found some active chimneys – very small volcanic like mounds – emitting hot black smoke from the earth’s core through cracks in the seabed.
“The water temperature in these areas are as low as five degrees Celsius so when cold water passes through the cracks of these chimneys, they come out hot.
“Water coming out contained minerals with some found on the cracks of the chimneys.
“We collected samples from the cracked chimneys at the seabed and found a lot of gold, zinc and other minerals,” Mr Bang said.