Iron ore mining company Titan Steel Plc has begun exploratory exploratory drilling and prospecting in a site off the coast of Singapore, a spokesman said on Thursday.
The company said it will conduct exploration of a shallow site on the coast on Thursday and Friday.
The exploration will be the first of its kind in the region, where a handful of ore mines were established.
“The first exploration will occur this week to conduct exploratory exploration of the shallow offshore site that is located on the western edge of the Singapore Island.
This will enable the company to conduct further exploration in the future,” a spokesman for Titan said in an email to Reuters.
He declined to comment on the timeframe for completion of the drilling, saying it was a matter for the company.
Titan Steel, which is based in Australia and has operations in China, Indonesia, New Zealand and Singapore, has not yet commented on the exploration.
An iron ore mine on Singapore’s southern island of Singapoor in 2017.
(Photo: Thanh Nien Nam, EPA)Iron ore mining companies have been seeking to drill into the Singapore area since the late 1990s.
In 2013, Australia’s state mining regulator, the National Mining and Energy Commission, issued a report saying Singapore’s proximity to mainland China and its vast mineral resources posed a “unique risk” to Australian resources.
A 2013 report from the Queensland Minerals Council, also released in 2013, found that “an extensive iron ore deposit has existed on the south coast of the country for decades”.
The mining industry has said that the potential for iron ore deposits in Singapore is significant, especially with a number of mining companies now operating in Singapore and other countries in Southeast Asia.
Iron ore has been mined in the Singapore mainland since the 19th century, and Singapore has a high concentration of iron ore and coal.
The iron ore mines of Singapore have been a source of controversy for decades.
The city has a history of violent protests and riots between workers and the government.
Some residents, including Singapore’s first black president Lee Kuan Yew, were sentenced to death in 2011 for taking part in a rally against the mining company.