Nauru Ocean Resources Inc. ("NORI") is engaged in the exploration and sustainable development of seafloor mineral resources.
In 2011 NORI was granted a contract to explore for seafloor polymetallic nodules by the International Seabed Authority ("ISA").
Speaking at the 21st Meeting of the States Parties to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in New York, Mr. Nii A. Odunton, the Secretary-General of the ISA said this renewed commercial interest in deep seabed mining as an alternative source for the minerals needed to fuel economic development in many parts of the world is encouraging both for the Authority and member States.
Seafloor polymetallic nodules are mineral precipitates formed of concentric layers of iron and manganese hydroxides around a core. These golf-ball sized to large potato sized nodules occur over extensive areas of the vast sediment-covered abyssal plains of the global ocean.
NORI has focused its attention on the CCZ in the international seabed area westof Mexico as this region is widely acknowledged as the world’s greatest known concentration of high-grade polymetallic nodules. The CCZ region contains a vast deposit of polymetallic nodules which have significant grades of manganese, nickel, copper, and cobalt as well as a range of other metals of interest including molybdenum, cerium, vanadium and rare earths.
The NORI Area lies in the CCZ in water depths of approximately 4000m to 5000m.
In 2012 NORI completed a polymetallic nodule exploration cruise in the NORI area aboard the vessel RV Mt. Mitchell, which sailed from the port of Seattle. NORI conducted extensive seafloor mapping and nodule sampling.
NORI has also founded the NORI Deep Sea Minerals Scholarship Programme which provides funding for Nauruan students to complete undergraduate Environmental Science and Engineering degrees at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji.