A MINERAL exploration company could become the first in the world to conduct deep sea mining as early as next year if all goes according to plan.
Nautilus Minerals Fiji country manager Ratu Isoa Gavidi said should deep sea mining begin at Solwara 1 in Papua New Guinea, it would set the platform for other deep sea mining activities around the globe.
"This is frontier mining," he said.
"No one is doing sea-bed mining and if Nautilus starts mining next year at Solwara 1 in PNG, which has been delayed, we will be the first company in the world that is going to conduct deep sea mining."
Ratu Isoa said Nautilus had a mining contract with the PNG Government for mineral resources alone.
"We are not doing oil, which is a common misconception. We are going for minerals like copper, manganese, gold and rare earths that are needed for modern technological devices."
He said the company could see returns within a year should mining activity begin in 2014.
Ratu Isoa was a participant at a workshop organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Program about deep sea mining in the Pacific.