MINING for minerals in Fiji waters is a possibility if minerals found are of high grade and sufficient quantity.
Mineral Resources Department director Malakai Finau made the comments as the Korean company, Korean Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI), begins its explorations in Fiji waters today. However, Mr Finau said it was still early days for the exploration.
"If the minerals found through the explorations are in sufficient quantities and of high grade, then mining would be the next level of action," he said.
Mr Finau said the company had done marine scientific research in the past which was different from commercial exploration activities it would carry out.
He said KORDI was granted a certain number of licences to contend with the area their explorations would take place in.
"There were three licences granted to KORDI because there is a certain amount of area that each licence covers, so the three licences cover the area where mining activity will take place."
Mr Finau said Canadian-registered company Nautilus Minerals Inc was granted 17 exploration licences in Fiji to cater for a significantly larger area of exploration.
According to a statement on the company website, Nautilus' offshore exploration licences in Fiji cover a total area of approximately 60,000 square kilometres.
Mr Finau said a further application from Australian-based company Bluewater Metals Pty Ltd was being processed and more information would be released once processing was completed.