New Delhi: The cabinet on Monday decided to extend a contract with the International Seabed Authority (ISA), an inter-governmental body, to explore manganese nodules in the central Indian ocean basin for another five years.
The extension from 2017 to 2022 will open up new opportunities in exploration of resources of commercial and strategic value in an area of 75,000 sq. km located away from the country’s southern tip, said an official statement issued after the cabinet meeting.
Manganese nodules are potato-shaped porous nodules found in abundance carpeting the sea floor which contain manganese and other resources like iron, nickel, copper, cobalt, lead, molybdenum, cadmium, vanadium and titanium, the statement said.
The extension will enable “strategic importance for India in terms of enhanced presence in Indian Ocean where other international players are also active,” said the statement.
ISA is an institution set up under the Convention on Law of the Sea to which India is a party.