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Deep-Sea Mining: Exploration Rights Under ISA Regulation

In part one of an explainer series about international deep-sea mining regulation, Louise Woods and Elena Guillet share advice for setting up sponsorship agreements between contractors and sponsoring states.

The ISA has successfully developed exploration regulations and has been working on exploitation regulations since 2014.

Actors in the deep-sea mining regime will not only need to abide by this regime but will also be required to comply with the provisions of several other agreements such as, for example, the exploitation contract between the ISA and the contractor, the sponsorship agreement between the sponsoring state and the contractor, the sponsoring state’s national laws and general international law.

This complex regulatory regime presents different dispute resolution processes for deep-sea mining actors depending on the type of dispute arising. This three-part series explores the different agreements and dispute settlement options available to the different actors.

Read part one on Mining Technology.

This information is provided by Vinson & Elkins LLP for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as legal advice.