The Vanuatu government has been handed the first major consultation report on the prospects for deep sea mining, following a national conference designed to guage public sentiment.

The report, prepared by the Pacific Institute of Public Policy, calls for even wider community consultation and for the government to carefully consider the implications of mining the sea.

150 exploration licences have already been granted and massive sulphide deposits have been identified on the seafloor which are thought to contain copper, gold and silver.

But Vanuatu's Lands and Natural Resources Minister Ralph Regenvanu says there's a long way to go before any mining licences are granted.