The UN Convention on the Law of the sea (1982) establishes that the bottom (and what lies beneath it) of seas and oceans which are outside the state jurisdiction known as territorial waters, and its resources belong to all humanity. The Convention distinguishes three consecutive phases of activities that are focused on resources that lie within coastal territorial waters: a. search; b. exploration; c. exploitation. Access to reserved lots is restricted. Developing states were granted 15 years precedence over other investors. A company was granted 15 years to decide if it wished to start activities on that lot. The contracting party is also obliged to offer a company participation in the activities on reserved lots as partners in a joint venture. This is connected with the sharing among partners of extraction rights (rights to minerals extracted from territorial waters). Co-operation within the framework of a joint venture with an investor, professionally prepared to conduct activities in territorial water, especially well allows a business to use the partner's knowledge, technology and experience in deep-sea mining. The author considers that developed states will dominate in the beginning phase of future exploration and exploitation of coastal territorial waters.
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