The China Ocean Mineral Resources Research Development Association has signed a 15-year contract with the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to conduct exploration activities in the Indian Ocean.

The contract will give the Chinese association the right to explore 10,000km2 of polymetallic sulphide ore deposits located in the south-west Indian Ocean.

Under the terms of the contract, the firm will conduct environmental monitoring, environmental baseline research and provide training to scientific workers of other countries.

The Chinese association will give up 75% of the ore deposit region within ten years before receiving the pre-emptive rights of commercially mining the remaining 2,500km2, reports Xinhua.