Deep sea mining group left in lurch after $200m disappears – by Ortenca Aliaj (Financial Times – October 20, 2021)

https://www.ft.com/

The Metals Company has big ambitions to mine the depths of the Pacific Ocean for rare earth metals used to power everything from iPhones to electric vehicles. The problem is that it is short on cash.

The Canadian start-up went public last month through a special purpose acquisition company but has been left high and dry by one investor who was meant to hand over 60 per cent of $330m it had been counting on to start digging but has now all but disappeared.

Read more

Deep seabed mining is risky. If something goes wrong, who will pay for it? – by Ian Morse (Mongabay.com – October 8, 2021)

https://news.mongabay.com/

Pelenatita Kara travels regularly to the outer islands of Tonga, her low-lying Pacific Island home, to educate fishers and farmers about seabed mining. For many of the people she meets, seabed mining is an unfamiliar term.

Before Kara began appearing on radio programs, few people knew their government had sponsored a company to mine minerals from the seabed. “It’s like talking to a Tongan about how cold snow is,” she says. “Inconceivable.”

Read more

‘False choice’: is deep-sea mining required for an electric vehicle revolution? – by Karen McVeigh (The Guardian – September 28, 2021)

https://www.theguardian.com/

At the Goodwood festival of speed near Chichester, the crowds gathered at the hill-climb circuit to watch the world’s fastest cars roar past, as they do every year.

But not far from the high-octane action, there was a new, and quieter, attraction: a display of the latest electric vehicles, from the £28,000 Mini Electric to the £2m Lotus Evija hypercar. Even here, at one of the biggest events in Britain’s petrolhead calendar, it’s clear the days of the internal combustion engine are numbered.

Read more

Could Sucking Up the Seafloor Solve Battery Shortage? The Metals Company wants to try, but opposition is fierce – by Prachi Patel (IEEE Spectrum – September 13, 2021)

https://spectrum.ieee.org/

Reeling from a crushing shortage of semiconductor chips for vehicles, carmakers also face another looming crisis: producing enough batteries to drive the global pivot towards electric vehicles.

The supply of metals like cobalt, copper, lithium, and nickel needed for batteries is already shaky, and soaring demand for the hundreds of millions of batteries in the coming decades is likely to trigger shortage and high prices.

Read more

SCRAPING THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA – by Alec Dubro (Foreign Policy in Focus – August 10, 2021)

Home

Deep sea mining companies are not just exploiting the oceans, they’re harming the low-income nations surrounding the proposed mine sites.

On July 29, the two-day Wokisok Shark Calling Festival will begin at Kono village, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea. It’s not a new gimmick to capitalize on Shark Week or Sharknado movies—although foreign visitors are welcome. Nor do people stand on the beach and yell, Shark!

Instead it’s a seasonal rite where fishers paddle out from shore and summon sharks with noise and motion makers—and then they hope, capture them. It’s supposed to ensure shark harvests for peoples who depend in part on this source of protein. It’s actually one of many such ceremonies that take place in this area of the Pacific.

Although the Kono Village festival hadn’t been observed for years, it has been revived this year with an added fillip. It’s being held to rally the campaign to stop the relentless attempt by deep-pocketed mining investors called the Solwara 1 project to tear up the local sea bed in search of minerals.

Read more

Vancouver-based miner’s deep sea mining request may force moratorium from international authority – by Gwynne Dyer (London Free Press – August 1, 2021)

https://lfpress.com/

A month ago, it seemed to be just another tale of ruthless miners and desperate poor people conspiring to wreck the environment while distant regulators failed to get a grip. But it turns out to be more complicated than that, and rather more hopeful.

The mining company is DeepGreen, and the poor people are the 11,500 inhabitants of Nauru, a tiny independent island in the Western Pacific.

The regulators are the International Seabed Authority (ISA), the UN agency that governs the seabed in areas beyond the reach of national laws (i.e. most of the planet).

Read more

With ‘Deep Ocean Mission’, India Begins Quest for Seabed Minerals in Earnest – by Mayank Aggarwal (Science The Wire India – July 6, 2021)

HOME

Similar to some other countries such as China, the quest for minerals in the deep sea has been on India’s radar for some time now. Recently, in June 2021, it got a significant boost as the Indian government approved a ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ to explore the ocean for resources and develop deep-sea technologies for sustainable use of ocean resources.

But the move towards deep seabed mining has also reignited concerns that many environmental organisations have been pointing out over the potential harm it could cause to marine biodiversity.

The proposal of the Indian government’s Ministry of Earth Sciences was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an estimated cost of about Rs 4,077 crore for a period of five years.

Read more

A Mining Startup’s Rush for Underwater Metals Comes With Deep Risks – by Todd Woody (Yahoo/Finance/Bloomberg – June 2021)

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — A seabed mining startup, DeepGreen Metals Inc., has successfully sold itself to investors as a game-changing source of minerals to make electric car batteries that can be obtained in abundance—and at great profit—while minimizing the environmental destruction of mining on land.

But there’s strong scientific evidence that the seabed targeted for mining is in fact one of the most biodiverse places on the planet—and increasing reason to worry about DeepGreen’s tantalizing promises.

Bloomberg Green’s examination of corporate and legal filings, regulatory records and other documents raises questions about DeepGreen’s business plans.

Read more

UK’s deep-sea mining permits could be unlawful – Greenpeace – by Karen McVeigh (The Guardian – May 12, 2021)

https://www.theguardian.com/

Deep-sea mining exploration licences granted by the British government are “riddled with inaccuracies”, and could even be unlawful, according to Greenpeace and Blue Marine Foundation, a conservation charity.

The licences, granted a decade ago to UK Seabed Resources, a subsidiary of the US arms multinational Lockheed Martin, have only recently been disclosed by the company.

In March lawyers for Greenpeace wrote to Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state for business and energy, warning of potential legal flaws in the licences. They have not received a response, they say.

Read more

Ocean mining frenzy drives $2.9 billion merger – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver – May 11, 2021)

https://biv.com/

Littering the abyssal plain of the Pacific Ocean are an estimated 21 billion tonnes worth of polymetallic nodules containing high grades of manganese, nickel, copper and cobalt – the so-called “battery metals” that Tesla (Nasdaq:TSLA) has warned may soon be in short supply.

They sit on top of the sea floor just waiting to be hoovered up, and several companies, including one from Vancouver, DeepGreen Metals, is in the race to begin harvesting them.

Getting the 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 that U.S. President Joe Biden has committed to will require a massive shift to renewable energy and electric cars.

Read more

Deep-sea mining tests resume as lost robot rescued – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – April 30, 2021)

https://www.mining.com/

Belgium’s Global Sea Mineral Resources (GSR) resumed on Friday tests that could lead to the mining of battery minerals from the Pacific Ocean floor after it managed to recover a robot stranded at a depth of thousands of metres.

The company reported Wednesday that its Patania II, a 25-tonne mining robot prototype, had uncoupled from a 5km-long (3.1 miles) cable connecting it to the surface.

The unit of Belgium’s DEME Group is with a group of European scientists to determine the environmental impacts of deep-sea mining. They are working on GSR’s concession in the Clarion Clipperton Zone.

Read more

Deep-Sea Mining Robot Lost on Cobalt-Rich Floor of Pacific – by Jonathan Tirone (Bloomberg News – April 28, 2021)

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — A deep-sea mining robot on test mission to bring up rocks rich in cobalt and nickel from the floor of the Pacific Ocean has malfunctioned.

Controversial plans to mine the ocean floor face a key test this year when a United Nations body unveils rules that could spur the exploitation of hundreds of billions of dollars of battery metals.

Environmentalists say that would endanger fragile marine ecosystems, while the industry argues that extracting metals needed for the green-energy transition would cause less damage than terrestrial mining.

Read more

DeepGreen CEO Gerard Barron Opens Up About DeepGreen’s Open Letter To BMW & Other Brands – by Johnna Crider (Clean Technica – April 14, 2021)

https://cleantechnica.com/

Recently, DeepGreen penned an open letter to BMW, Volvo, Google, and other brands about the importance of seafloor minerals and approached extraction cautiously with an exacting commitment to science-based impact analysis and environmental protection. I also interviewed DeepGreen’s CEO, Gerard Barron, via email last year.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of a second interview with Gerard, this time through Zoom. In yesterday’s interview, Gerard answered a few questions I had about the open letter and he expressed his passion for helping the environment through his work of collecting deep-sea nodules filled with metals needed in the battery industry.

JC: For those who may not know, how exactly do you collect these nodules from the seafloor? What makes DeepGreen different from any other company doing deep-sea mining?

Read more

[Nickel/Cobalt Nodules] [Open Letter to Brands Calling for a Ban on Seafloor Minerals – by Deep Green Metals – April 1, 2021)

https://deep.green/

To: BMW, Volvo, Google and Samsung SDI

At DeepGreen, we agree that seafloor minerals development should be approached cautiously and with an exacting commitment to science-based impact analysis and environmental protection.

A precautionary approach has informed our strategy from the outset, including our mission to provide battery metals sourced from deep-ocean nodules that generate zero solid waste, no toxic tailings, and a fraction of the carbon emissions compared to land-based sources.

Such environmental benefits can be achieved only through collecting polymetallic nodules, 4,000 meters deep on the abyssal plain where the abundance of life is up to 1,500 times less than in the vibrant ecosystems on land from where battery metals are currently sourced.

Read more

A solution to battery metals crunch awaits in ocean – DeepGreen, SPAC CEOs – Taylor Kuykendall (SP Global Market Intelligence – March 9, 2021)

https://www.spglobal.com/

A deal between a blank-check firm and a Canadian developer aims to tap into deep ocean resources to become the world’s largest producer of metals for electric-vehicle batteries while keeping its environmental footprint and costs low.

DeepGreen Metals Inc. announced March 4 that it will combine with Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, to create a combined entity called The Metals Co. with an estimated equity value of about $2.9 billion.

The deal with the SPAC offers DeepGreen the speed and certainty needed to move operations forward, DeepGreen Chairman and CEO Gerard Barron said in an interview with S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Read more