Nautilus Minerals subsidiary, Tonga Offshore Mining (TOML), has been granted exploration licences in the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ) of the Eastern Pacific region from the International Seabed Authority (ISA).

TOML has been granted about 75,000km² of prime exploration territory in the CCZ, which lies in international waters between Hawaii and Mexico, for an initial period of 15 years.

The CCZ consists of deposits of polymetallic nodules, rich in copper, nickel, manganese and cobalt, lying on the seafloor in water depths starting at 4,500m.

Nautilus CEO Steve Rogers said that the firm is planning to establish the capacity to expand its operations to undertake larger scale projects in the deeper waters of the CCZ.