DeepGreen acquires third seabed contract area
DeepGreen Metals has acquired Tonga Offshore Mining (TOML), giving the company exploration rights to a 74,713 km2 block of CCZ seabed that contains an inferred resource of 756t million of polymetallic nodules.
TOML holds an exploration contract granted by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and sponsored by the Kingdom of Tonga. DeepGreen acquired TOML from Deep Sea Mining Finance. As part of the TOML acquisition, DeepGreen will benefit from existing environmental studies, a Canadian NI 43-101 compliant technical resource report and an intellectual property portfolio. The acquisition of a third exploration area, together with the news that DeepGreen’s offshore engineering partner Allseas has acquired a former ultra-deepwater drill ship for conversion to a polymetallic nodule collection vessel, makes DeepGreen a front-runner in a new industry that promises to reshape how critical battery metals are sourced, processed and ultimately recycled.
The electrification of global transport and buildout of renewable energy storage will require hundreds of millions of tonnes of nickel, cobalt, copper and manganese. Industry analysts and electric vehicle manufacturers have raised concerns over availability as well as environmental and social costs of producing these metals. Significant shortages in nickel, cobalt and copper have been predicted to emerge in the coming years. The CCZ seabed contains the world’s largest known deposits of nickel, cobalt and manganese. Several Areas of Particular Environmental Interest encompassing 1.44km2 million have been set aside, which are intended to represent CCZ habitats and will be protected from resource extraction. Current exploration contracts in the CCZ account for 1.2km2 million and are estimated to contain enough metal to electrify the entire global car fleet. Confirmed resource in DeepGreen’s combined exploration areas alone contain enough metal to potentially electrify over 250 million vehicles.
“We believe now more than ever that the world needs to work together to find solutions to address climate change. The TOML project will enable us to bring more critical mineral resources to market to break through the bottleneck and shift away from fossil fuels”, says Gerard Barron, CEO and Chairman of DeepGreen. “Our research shows that ocean polymetallic nodules can provide society with these metals at a fraction of the environmental and social impacts associated with land-based extraction.”