THE Korean Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI) believes it will soon receive its licence for deep sea mining.
Senior scientist Sang Jun Park told the Fiji Korea Business Forum and Catalog Exhibition that it would commence exploration works once the company received its licence.
The mining of seafloor massive sulphides (SMS) is expensive but the deposits are of a higher grade.
According to Mr Sang Jun a very small area could rake in billions of dollars.
Mineral Resources Department director Malakai Finau also spoke at the event revealing that at least 31 per cent of Fiji is under exploration licences.
Fiji's revenue from exploration works was about $20 million last year, a drop from the 2009 figure of $50 million.
On average, exploration works alone contribute an average $33m to the country's economy every year.
Mr Finau said a total of 50 exploration licences were given out by the end of June this year while another 42 were received.
There are five mining leases that have been given to three mines ù Vatukoula, Wainivesi and Nawailevu in Bua, which should be commissioned by November 8.
Mr Finau said Fiji's mining industry had diversified from gold, silver and copper to also include bauxite, manganese, iron sand and zinc.