The Metals Company Success: Deep-Water Collector Vehicle Tested At Depth Of Almost 2,500 Meters – by Johnna Crider (Clean Technica – May 7, 2022)

https://cleantechnica.com/

The Metals Company announced along with Allseas the successful results of a deep-water test of its polymetallic nodule collector vehicle in the Atlantic Ocean. The vehicle was tested at a depth of almost 2,500 meters.

You may remember my previous articles about The Metals Company, and my two interviews with CEO Gerard Barron. I’ve been following the progress of The Metals Company since before they changed their name from Deep Green. To recap, I’ll briefly share what their focus is.

Read more

This Mining Executive Is Fighting Her Own Industry to Protect the Environment – by Aryn Baker (Time Magazine – April 13, 2022)

https://time.com/

In her 16-year career in the mining industry, Renee Grogan has battled hostile environments, arduous work conditions, and the perception that women don’t belong at a mine site—let alone in a mining-company boardroom. But her biggest battle has only just begun: getting climate-conscious car buyers to care as much about how the metals going into their new electric-vehicle (EV) batteries are mined as they do about their carbon emissions.

“Consumers don’t generally know what their metal footprint looks like,” says Grogan, the co-founder and chief sustainability officer of California-based Impossible Mining, a battery-metal mining startup.

Read more

We Don’t Need Nickel From Russia – by Johnna Crider (Clean Technica – April 15, 2022)

https://cleantechnica.com/

We don’t need nickel from Russia. There is a critical need for nickel and other EV battery metals worldwide, but we don’t need to get it from Russia. In March 2022, Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas shared worries about Russia’s outsized role in the nickel supply chain for EVs.

CNBC’s Phil LeBeau then discussed the note from Jonas. Jonas noted that Ford announced a target of 2 million EV unit sales by 2026, and that this will require a lot of EV battery metals. The question he posed was where Ford would source all of these raw materials. LeBeau pointed out that everyone in the auto industry has been talking about this issue for quite a while.

Read more

Seabed regulator accused of deciding deep sea’s future ‘behind closed doors’ – by Karen McVeigh (The Guardian – April 1, 2022)

https://www.theguardian.com/

The UN-affiliated organisation that oversees deep-sea mining, a controversial new industry, has been accused of failings of transparency after an independent body responsible for reporting on negotiations was kicked out.

The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is meeting this week at its council headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica, to develop regulations for the fledgling industry. But it emerged this week that Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB), a division of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), which has covered previous ISA negotiations, had not had its contract renewed.

Read more

Seabed mineral exploration licences approved in the Cook Islands – by Caleb Fotheringham (RNZ – March 13, 2022)

https://www.rnz.co.nz/

Five kilometres deep on the Cook Islands seafloor, potato-shaped rocks pave the bottom loaded with expensive minerals like cobalt, copper, manganese and nickel. They’re called polymetallic nodules and three weeks ago the Cook Islands Prime Minister, Mark Brown referred to them as “golden apples”.

Brown made the comment during an official signing ceremony where three companies were awarded a seabed minerals exploration licence. The licence allows the companies to see if mining is a viable option which includes reviewing the environmental risks associated with the task.

Read more

Canada absent from global conversation on deep-sea mining – by Natasha Bulowski (National Observer – January 2022)

https://www.nationalobserver.com/

Environmental groups want the Canadian government to call for a moratorium on deep-sea mining, joining countries like Chile and the EU Parliament.

Companies around the globe want to mine metals such as cobalt, manganese, nickel, and copper deep on the ocean floor, but hundreds of scientists warn the area is under-researched and its impacts on delicate ocean ecosystems could be devastating.

Read more

Earth’s final frontier: China and the deep-sea gold rush set to cause environmental catastrophe – by Stuart Heaver (Hong Kong Free Press – January 2, 2022)

Home Page

Scientists say that a highly controversial deep-sea “gold rush” risks potentially devastating consequences for marine ecosystems, biodiversity, coastal communities and climate change.

The deep seabed is Earth’s final frontier but this mostly unexplored, dark and pristine abyss is threatened by highly destructive deep-sea mining which could be at full throttle within months.

Read more

Deep-Sea Mining Could Help Meet Demand for Critical Minerals, But Also Comes with Serious Obstacles (U.S. Government Accountability Office – December 16, 2021)

https://www.gao.gov/blog/

Deep below the sea lay critical minerals that are both high in value and demand. These critical minerals—such as cobalt, nickel, and manganese—are used in everyday devices like cellphones and cars. But they are hard to come by, and demand is expected to double or triple by 2030.

Because of this demand, interest has turned toward the deep ocean seabed, which contains vast quantities of critical and other minerals. Today’s WatchBlog post looks at our new Science & Tech Spotlight on deep-sea mining—how it works and its challenges.

Read more

Deep sea miner insists it has enough cash despite missing $200m – by Neil Hume (Financial Times – November 22, 2021)

https://www.ft.com/

The Metals Company has enough cash to complete the “important work” needed to secure a permit to mine deep in the Pacific Ocean, according to its executive chair, despite an investor’s failure to hand it an agreed $200m in funding.

Gerard Barron said the deep-sea miner could finance its operations until the third quarter of 2023, when it expects to apply for a licence to collect so-called nodules, or rocks, containing energy transition metals such as nickel and copper from the seabed.

Read more

Can Mining the Seabed Help Save the Planet? – by Christopher Pala (Foreign Policy – November 7, 2021)

https://foreignpolicy.com/

The solutions to climate change—solar panels, windmills, electric cars—seem so blissfully clean and also within reach. Yet they also require vast amounts of minerals: cobalt, manganese, copper, nickel, and rare earths. Electric cars, for instance, are made with about six times more minerals than conventional vehicles, and such staggering amounts simply aren’t available now. Not on land, anyway.

Parts of the ocean seabed, lying some 15,000 feet deep, are littered with the stuff. Black, potato-sized lumps called polymetallic nodules can be found in great volumes on the oceans’ muddy bottoms. The nodules contain large amounts of copper, manganese, nickel, and cobalt, as well as other minerals in smaller amounts.

Read more

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