Archive | Deep Sea Mining

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). Continue Reading →

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

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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. Continue Reading →

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. Continue Reading →

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. Continue Reading →

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. Continue Reading →

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. Continue Reading →

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. Continue Reading →

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? Continue Reading →

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

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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. Continue Reading →

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. Continue Reading →

EV metal producer DeepGreen to launch on NYSE in US$330-million SPAC deal – by Jaren Kerr (Globe and Mail – March 5, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

DeepGreen Metals Inc., a Vancouver-based producer of minerals used to make electric vehicle batteries, will become a publicly listed company after being acquired by Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corp. (SOAC) in a US$330-million deal.

Founded in 2009, DeepGreen sources minerals known as polymetallic nodules from the ocean floor, which are used to power electric vehicle batteries.

The company has exploration contracts in the Pacific Ocean’s Clarion-Clipperton Zone between Hawaii and Mexico. DeepGreen estimates its exploration zone has the potential to power 280 million electric vehicles. Continue Reading →

Is Mining The Ocean Bottom For Metals Really Better Than Mining On Land? – by James Conca (Forbes Magazine – February 24, 2021)

https://www.forbes.com/

It certainly looks like it. From almost any perspective, seabed mining of metals is better for the environment, social justice issues and economics.

A large continuous supply of special economic metals is essential for any high tech future. Building electric vehicles and wind turbines take a lot of resources, more than we can provide now, particularly special metals like Co, Li, Te and Nd, as well as just base metals like Fe, Cu, Pb and Zn, and other rare earth elements. Even other materials like graphite.

But their supply is generally an environmental and social nightmare. The waste from Li, graphite and high-purity-Si processing has destroyed whole villages and ecosystems in China, Indonesia and Bolivia, among others. Continue Reading →

Northern Territory sinks seabed mining plans (Australian Mining – February 8, 2021)

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The Northern Territory Government has decided not to lift a ban on seabed mining in its waters following a public consultation last October.

The territory has kept a moratorium on seabed mining activities since 2012, which was due to expire on March 5, but will now be extended for up to another six months.

There are very few seabed mining projects globally and the mining activity has never been undertaken in the Northern Territory. Continue Reading →

Could the world’s deep seas become China’s mining frontier? – by Stephen Chen (South China Morning Post – February 2, 2021)

https://www.scmp.com/

Chinese researchers say they have identified a number of “strategically important” deep sea mineral deposits as part of a decade-long survey of the world’s sea floors.

The researchers conducted a series of government-funded surveys from 2011 to 2020 and located potentially high-yield deposits of various essential industrial minerals from nickel to rare earths, according to a paper published in the Chinese-language Bulletin of Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry last week.

A few of the deposits were in the South China Sea, but most were in the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific oceans, far from China. Continue Reading →

Deep dive to new resources – by Graham Lloyd (The Australian – January 1, 2021)

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/

Gerard Barron wants to secure a battery-powered future — from the sea floor.

In the global race to remake the world for a low emissions future, Gerard Barron just may be Australia’s Elon Musk.

Where Musk is obsessed with electric cars and deep space, Barron is focused on the abyssal plains located 4500m below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

Barron is leading a gathering push to exploit a base metals resource that has been known about a long time but has been too difficult to exploit for political, environmental and logistic reasons. Continue Reading →