A senior geologist and expert in sea bed minerals says the south Pacific Ocean holds very high-grade rare earth elements, reports Radio New Zealand International.
Allen Clark, who has more than 40 years of experience with minerals, is based at the East-West Center in Hawaii.
He said Papua New Guinea down to the Solomon Islands and over to Fiji are the areas rich with rare earth minerals and gold-bearing deposits.
"Compared to on-land deposits they’re amongst the richest that we’ve seen, including those on land," Clark told RNZI.
He believes the deposits provide a good opportunity to mine since demand has been rising for them.
As well, the experience in deep ocean extraction by the oil and gas industry is well developed and largely applicable in the mining industry.