Cook Islands Seabed Minerals Authority
Runanga Takere Moana

Seabed minerals authority

Responsible for the management and regulation of all seabed mineral activity under the Cook Islands jurisdiction.


Riches in the depths of our ocean

The Cook Islands is a small, developing Pacific Island nation that is increasingly viewing
itself as a “Large ocean state”. Like many Pacific Island nations, the Cook Islands has
limited opportunities for sustainable economic growth and diversification. One of our
greatest natural resources has always been our ocean.

Forty years of ocean survey work suggests as much as 12 billion square tonnes of mineral rich
manganese nodules are spread over some 750,000 square kilometers of the Cook Islands
Continental Shelf. This seabed mineral (SBM) Resource offers a significant opportunity for the long term
sustainable economic and social development of the Cook Islands.




Avarua, Rarotonga.

(+682) 29193


Mon - Fri: 8.00am - 4.00pm


  • Saturdays and Sundays

  • Statutory holidays

  • From 25 December to 3 January



Our Legacy

Woven from the leaves of the coconut tree the green basket is known in the Cook Islands as a “kete” or “raurau” and is used to carry things that are of value to our people - such as fruits, fresh produce, fish etc. In this case it is carrying pieces of nodules that were collected during the 1960s exploration cruise in the Cook Islands EEZ by our very own Sir Tom Marsters, K.B.E. The three pairs of hands seen in this photo are those of Sir Tom Marster’s, his daughter’s, and his grandson’s - a symbol of the kind of legacy we want to pass down to future generations. We are to be wise stewards of our ocean which provide so much to our people and we will continue to be wise stewards so that the legacy we leave behind is enriched with promise and health.


latest news


Seabed mining: ‘I see us taking the lead’

October 5 2019

The Cook Islands will be ready to harvest precious metals from the ocean floor in just five years.

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The precautionary principle: Will seabed mining release carbon emissions?

September 27 2019

The impact of carbon emissions from undersea mining hadn’t previously been assessed, writes Gerald McCormack, from the Natural Heritage Trust. He analyses the risk and advises a precautionary approach.

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Seabed metals bound for belgium

September 24 2019

GSR Exploration Manager and marine geologist Francois Charlet said their research was successful. “We did a lot of deployment of freefall grabs to collect samples. We collected about 469kg of nodules which is quite a lot,” said Charlet.

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Last updated: October 9 2019