THE MARINE MAMMAL COMMISSION COMPENDIUM
MULTILATERAL / MARINE SCIENCE AND EXPLORATION
Volume(s) 1-3; pages 2616-2619
Agreement Concerning the Continuation of Marine Geoscientific Research and Mineral Resource Studies in the South Pacific Region, Washington, 1990
Done at Washington 10 September 1990
Entered into force 10 September 1990
Primary source citation: Copy of text provided by the U.S. Department of State
AGREEMENT AMONG THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIA CONCERNING THE CONTINUATION OF MARINE GEOSCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND MINERAL RESOURCE STUDIES IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC REGION
The Governments of the United States of America, New Zealand and Australia,
Recalling the Agreement among our three Governments in cooperation with the Committee for the Coordination of Joint Prospecting for Mineral Resources in South Pacific Offshore Areas (CCOP/SOPAC) relating to the Conduct of a Joint Programme of Marine Geoscientific Research and Mineral Resource Studies in the South Pacific Region - Second Phase (‘the Phase II Agreement’), done at Washington on 19 September 1984, which Agreement expired by its terms on 19 September 1987. Noting that work under the Programme has in fact continued since the expiration of that Agreement, and
Recognizing that CCOP/SOPAC has been recently reconstituted as the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC),
Have agreed as follows:
This Agreement shall be referred to as the ‘Tripartite Phase II Extended Agreement’.
The Parties shall continue the Second Phase of the Joint Programme in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement. The scientific and technical programmes which may be conducted in implementation of this Agreement are set forth in the attached Annex. Amendments may be made to this Annex by mutual arrangement between the Joint Programme Coordinator and the national coordinators.
For the purposes of this Agreement the following provisions of the Phase II Agreement shall apply:
Article I; Article II(a), (d), (e), and (f); Article IV(a); Article V(a); Article X; Article XII; Article XIII(b), (c), (d), (e), and (f); Article XIV; and Annex A.
All activities to be carried out under this Agreement are subject to the availability of funds.
This Agreement shall enter into force on the date of signature and shall remain in force for five years. A Party may withdraw from this Agreement at any time by giving six months notice in writing to the other Parties.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, being duly authorized by their respective Governments, have signed this Agreement.
Done at Washington, in triplicate, this tenth day of September, 1990.
The scientific and technical objectives of the Tripartite Phase II Extended Agreement are set forth below and will be implemented in association with SOPAC personnel:
OBJECTIVE A: PRESENTATION OF RESULTS
This objective is to present to SOPAC technical staff and pertinent country officials and their technical staffs briefing sessions/workshops reporting upon the results of Tripartite I and II cruises (supplemented by other data where appropriate). These briefings, made in-country, by Tripartite and SOPAC scientific experts, will be presented in non-technical terms and will be adequately illustrated to inform the audience of mineral and hydrocarbon potential, and geohazards, as presently known. During the workshop phase Tripartite scientists will assemble camera-ready information that can be used for an informational brochure. It is anticipated that the island countries will use this material for distribution to industry and other likely interested parties. Approximately three to four days will be spent in each briefing session/workshop.
Project Element 1: Hydrocarbons
Appropriate teams of experts could be sent to Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu. Each team would probably include one representative from SOPAC and another from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). A representative from the Australian Bureau of Mineral Resources (BMR) could be provided for the Vanuatu team, and a representative from the New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) for the Tonga team. If invited, the Tripartite group would consider joining missions to publicize island country petroleum potential to prospective investors.
Project Element 2: Cobalt Enriched Crusts and Manganese Nodules
If requested, a team of experts could be sent to the Cook Islands, Kiribati, and Tuvalu. This team could consist of representatives from SOPAC, Hawaii Institute of Geophysics (HIG), USGS, East-West Center, and Adelaide University or the DSIR. OBJECTIVE B: COMPILATION AND SYNTHESIS OF DATA
This objective involves the compilation and synthesis of all available geological and geophysical data in the SOPAC regions. Data acquired during Tripartite I and II would be supplemented by data acquired from other non-Tripartite sources including French, German, Japanese, and U.S. institutes, and the private sector in the following categories:
Project Element 1: Petroleum
Tripartite scientists could assist SOPAC staff and country organizations in the analysis and interpretation of existing geophysical and geological data, especially multichannel seismic and geochemical data, in order to prepare country-specific reports on the hydrocarbon potential of the Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu for their use. Geopotential modelling of existing geophysical data could be carried out by Tripartite scientists. Source rock, physical property and age evaluation of new drill cores obtained by those island countries of SOPAC with petroleum potential could be carried out by Tripartite scientists. It is envisaged that twelve months of Tripartite scientists' time would be required plus computer, analytical, incidentals (communication, etc) and travel funds; some support for training island nationals is also anticipated. Responsibilities for major compilations are expected to be as follows:
SOPAC to deal with Iron Bottom Sound region, and USGS and BMR with regional prospects
Tonga Department of Lands, Survey and Mineral Resources, SOPAC, DSIR, and USGS
SOPAC, USGS, and BMR
Project Element 2: Cobalt Enriched Crusts and Manganese Nodules
SOPAC and Tripartite scientists would analyze and interpret existing geological, geophysical and geochemical data, particularly on the distribution and potential distribution of grades and thicknesses or abundances of crusts and nodules, over the next two years in order to prepare country specific reports on the offshore mineral potential of the Cook Islands, Kiribati, and Tuvalu for their use. It is envisaged that four months of Tripartite scientists' time would be needed, plus computer, incidentals (communication, etc) and travel funds; some support for island nationals is also anticipated. Responsibilities, in coordination with SOPAC, are expected to be as follows:
DSIR and HIG
HIG, Adelaide University, USGS and SOPAC
HIG and Adelaide University
Project Element 3: Swath-mapping Atlases
Tripartite scientists, in conjunction with SOPAC and island countries, would prepare and publish atlases of swath-mapping data, consisting generally of plates showing imagery and bathymetry, for the Manus Basin (PNG), Woodlark Basin (Solomon Islands), North Fiji Basin (Fiji and Vanuatu). The need for an atlas of the Manihiki Plateau (Cook Islands) is being reviewed. It is envisaged that three months of Tripartite scientists' time would be needed, plus computer, incidental and publication funds. Responsibilities are expected to be as follows:
HIG, ANU, BMR
North Fiji Basin:
Project Element 4: Review of Samoan Geophysical Data
Single-channel seismic data and SeaMARC II swath-mapping imagery would be synthesized and presented in a report. A layman's presentation on the results could be made in Samoa if requested. It is envisaged that six weeks of Tripartite scientists' time, plus computer, incidental and possible travel funds, would be needed. Responsibilities would be:
SeaMARC II data:
Project Element 5: Hydrothermal Minerals
If requested, Tripartite scientists could analyze and interpret existing geophysical, geological and geochemical data on the distribution and potential distribution of hydrothermal minerals, especially massive sulfides, associated with back arc spreading systems and arc volcanism, in order to prepare country-specific reports on the offshore mineral potential of Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu.
OBJECTIVE C: ASSESSMENT OF NEEDS FOR FURTHER DATA COLLECTION
Throughout the information dissemination and synthesis activities described in Objectives A and B, efforts will be made to identify areas and topics where additional data could significantly increase the understanding of the hydrocarbon and mineral potential of the region.
OBJECTIVE D: PROVISION OF ADVICE RELATIVE TO GEOHAZARDS
Throughout the information dissemination and synthesis activities described in Objectives A and B, Pacific Island countries and SOPAC will be informed of any geohazards identified.
OBJECTIVE E: TRAINING OF PACIFIC ISLAND COUNTRY NATIONALS
Efforts would be made to provide training and educational opportunities in the evaluation and interpretation of Tripartite data, for Pacific Island country nationals identified by SOPAC member governments. Such training is expected to take place at the institutions participating in the Phase II extended programme.
OBJECTIVE F: ENCOURAGEMENT OF FOCUSSED INVESTIGATIONS AND ASSESSMENTS
During the synthesis of the data gathered by Tripartite I and II with other data, areas may be identified that would benefit from focussed data acquisition. Opportunities to use ocean research platforms to enhance the prospectivity of resources thus far discovered will be considered, if appropriate, on a case-by-case basis.
The allocation of funds necessary to implement objectives A, B, C, and D above is estimated at U.S. $300,000. Tripartite members will make their best efforts to identify appropriate sources of funds to support these activities.