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e-CFR data is current as of February 26, 2021

Title 15Subtitle BChapter IXSubchapter DPart 971Subpart E → §971.501

Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade
Subpart E—Resource Development

§971.501   Resource assessment, recovery plan, and logical mining unit.

(a) The applicant must submit with the application a resource assessment to provide a basis for assessing the area applied for. This assessment must include a discussion of mineable and unmineable areas, taking into account nodule grade, nodule concentration, and other factors such as seafloor topography. These areas may be delineated graphically. The resources in the area must be described in relation to the applicant's production requirements, operating period, and recovery efficiency in order to justify the area applied for.

(b) The applicant shall select the size and location of the area of the recovery plan, which area shall be approved unless the Administrator finds that, among other considerations (see §971.301(a)), the area is not a logical mining unit. In the case of a commercial recovery permit, a logical mining unit is an area of the deep seabed:

(1) In which hard mineral resources can be recovered in sufficient quantities to satisfy the permittee's estimated production requirements over the initial 20-year term of the permit in an efficient, economical, and orderly manner with due regard for conservation and protection of the environment, taking into consideration the resource data, other relevant physical and environmental characteristics, and the state of the technology of the applicant set out in the recovery plan;

(2) Which is not larger than necessary to satisfy the permittee's estimated production requirements over the initial 20-year term of the permit; and

(3) In relation to which the permittee's estimated production requirements are not found by the Administrator to be unreasonable.

(c) Approval by the Administrator of a proposed logical mining unit will be based on a case-by-case review of each application. The area need not consist of contiguous segments, as long as each segment would be efficiently mineable and the total proposed area constitutes a logical mining unit.

(d) In describing the area, the applicant must present the geodetic coordinates of the points defining the boundaries referred to the World Geodetic System (WGS) Datum. A boundary between points must be a geodesic. If grid coordinates are desired, the Universal Transverse Mercator Grid System must be used.

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