Australian and Malaysian officials met in Canberra on June 10 to discuss the next stage of a search for missing plane MH370 after a huge air and sea search failed to find any sign of the aircraft.

After the meeting, a representative from the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said that the Australian Transport Safety Bureau is now planning to comb a 60,000 search zone based on the plane's last satellite communication.

Australia has asked Netherlands-based Fugro Survey to help survey the ocean bed as part of the next stage of the quest for the Malaysia Airlines plane which vanished three months ago, said the centre.

The bathymetric (ocean floor) survey will provide a map of the underwater search zone, charting the contours, depths and composition of the seafloor in water depths up to 6,000 metres, it added.

Fugro's state-of-the-art vessel MV Fugro Equator, which is equipped with a deep water multibeam echo sounder system, will work with Chinese PLA-Navy ship Zhu Kezhen on the bathymetric survey of the area.

The two vessels are expected to take about three months to complete the mapping ahead of the underwater search by an as-yet undetermined contractor, JACC said.

Fugro said in a statement that its vessel is expected to start mapping in mid-June.

Malaysia's costs for the search mission have so far been about one-tenth of the 84 million USD Australia expects to spend on the search.

MH370 went missing on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing carrying 239 people. It is thought to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean-VNA