- Expeditions 5D and 4E are part of a multi-year, $75 million deep-sea research program to establish an environmental baseline and analyze the potential impacts of DeepGreen’s proposed operations to source critical battery minerals from seafloor polymetallic nodules.
- DeepGreen shares its bathymetric survey data with the global community as part of the International Seabed Authority’s plans to develop a definitive map of the world’s seabed by 2030.
- The expeditions are ahead of DeepGreen’s plans to merge with Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corporation (NYSE: SOAC) and its expected public listing on NASDAQ as The Metals Company.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–DeepGreen Metals Inc., which is expected to merge with Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corporation (NYSE: SOAC) and be renamed ‘TMC the metals company Inc.’ (The Metals Company), today announced the mobilization of its next research campaign, Environmental Expedition 4E, which comes on the heels of the successful completion of Environmental Expedition 5D, which continued research on deep-sea food chains, biodiversity, geochemistry, and nutrient cycles within the NORI-D contract area of the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ) in the Pacific Ocean.
The two expeditions are the latest work packages in the multi-year deep-sea research program intended to establish a rigorous environmental baseline and characterize the potential impacts of The Metals Company’s proposed operations to source critical battery minerals from deep-sea polymetallic nodules.
Dr. Andrew Sweetman, professor and leading researcher of deep-sea ecology and biogeochemistry at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, was a lead researcher onboard Expedition 5D, alongside a team of independent scientists from the Natural History Museum, the University of Leeds, Florida State University and the University of South Florida.
Using three different lander systems—similar in design to Mars landers used by NASA—the 60-strong crew on the Maersk Launcher collected data on the biodiversity and nutrients available on the seafloor, as well as the oxygen and carbon cycling in the abyssal environment. This data is being used to build a model of CCZ ecosystem functions and to aid in the development of equipment and systems which minimize disruption to the deep-sea environment from proposed nodule collection operations.
“My team and I undertook lander operations to gather the best environmental data that we could,” said Sweetman. All of the data collected by Sweetman and the other scientists involved in the company’s deep-sea research efforts will inform its environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) and will enable informed decision-making and regulatory development in advance of the commencement of a new resource industry which has the potential to provide a secure supply of the critical battery metals required for society’s transition to clean energy.
The next research campaign, Environmental Expedition 4E, will be led by CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. (CSA), which specializes in multidisciplinary environmental impact assessments. This will be the fourth of seven research campaigns to the CCZ that The Metals Company will conduct over a 14-month period. The mission of 4E is to retrieve, recalibrate and redeploy three mooring installations in the CCZ. The data collected from the instruments installed on the moorings provide insights as to the physical characteristics of the water column and inform a model developed to predict how deep-sea sediments disturbed by nodule collection operations will disperse and settle.
“These research expeditions continue to increase our understanding of our operating environment and will help us to model, predict and design mitigation strategies and technologies to minimize the potential impacts that collecting nodules will have on the abyssal CCZ,” said Gerard Barron, The Metals Company Chairman and CEO. “It’s our mission to put forward a rigorous, peer-reviewed environmental impact statement to the International Seabed Authority and to set a high bar for this new industry.”
In addition to developing a comprehensive understanding of its potential impacts, The Metals Company will help advance society’s understanding of the deep ocean by sharing its bathymetric survey data with the global community as part of the International Seabed Authority’s ‘Seabed 2030’ initiative, which aims to develop a definitive map of the world’s seabed by 2030.
About The Metals Company
In March, DeepGreen Metals Inc. announced that it had entered into a business combination agreement with Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corporation (SOAC) to accelerate project development, and is expected to list on NASDAQ as The Metals Company under the ticker ‘TMC’. The Metals Company is a Canadian explorer of lower-impact battery metals from seafloor polymetallic nodules on a mission to build a carefully managed metal commons that will be used, recovered and reused—for generations to come. The company’s subsidiaries hold exploration rights to three polymetallic nodule contract areas in the Clarion Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean regulated by the International Seabed Authority and sponsored by the Republic of Nauru, the Republic of Kiribati and the Kingdom of Tonga. For more information, visit https://metals.co/.
About Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corporation
Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corporation (NYSE: SOAC) is a special purpose acquisition company with a dedicated ESG focus and deep operational and capital market capabilities in the energy and resource sectors. While investing in ESG covers a broad range of themes, the Company focused on evaluating suitable targets with existing environmental sustainability practices or that could benefit, both operationally and economically, from the founders’ and management team’s commitment and expertise in executing such practices. In March, SOAC announced that it would merge with DeepGreen Metals Inc. to form TMC the metals company Inc. For more information, visit greenspac.com.
Important Information About the Proposed Business Combination and Where to Find It
This communication is being made in respect of a proposed business combination transaction contemplated by the business combination agreement (the “Business Combination Agreement”), dated as of March 4, 2021, by and among SOAC, 1291924 B.C. Unlimited Liability Company, an unlimited liability company existing under the laws of British Columbia, Canada, and DeepGreen and other concurrent agreements related thereto (together, the “Business Combination”). In connection with the proposed Business Combination, SOAC has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) a Registration Statement on Form S-4, including a preliminary proxy statement/prospectus. SOAC’s shareholders and other interested persons are advised to read the preliminary proxy statement/prospectus and, when available, any amendments thereto and the definitive proxy statement/prospectus as well as other documents filed with the SEC in connection with the proposed Business Combination, as these materials will contain important information about DeepGreen, SOAC, and the proposed Business Combination. When available, the definitive proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials for the proposed Business Combination will be mailed to shareholders of SOAC as of a record date to be established for voting on the proposed Business Combination. Shareholders will also be able to obtain copies of the preliminary proxy statement/prospectus, the definitive proxy statement/prospectus, and other documents filed with the SEC that will be incorporated by reference therein, without charge, once available, at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov, or by directing a request to: Investors@soa-corp.com.
Participants in the Solicitation
SOAC and its directors and executive officers may be deemed participants in the solicitation of proxies from SOAC’s shareholders with respect to the Business Combination. A list of the names of those directors and executive officers and a description of their interests in SOAC will be included in the proxy statement/prospectus for the proposed Business Combination and be available at www.sec.gov. Additional information regarding the interests of such participants will be contained in the definitive proxy statement/prospectus for the proposed Business Combination when available.
DeepGreen and its directors and executive officers may also be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the shareholders of SOAC in connection with the proposed Business Combination. A list of the names of such directors and executive officers and information regarding their interests in the proposed Business Combination will be included in the definitive proxy statement/prospectus for the proposed Business Combination.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements made herein are not historical facts but are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements generally are accompanied by words such as “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect,” “should,” “would,” “plan,” “predict,” “potential,” “seem,” “seek,” “future,” “outlook” and similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, SOAC and DeepGreen’s expectations with respect to future performance, development of its estimated resources of battery metals, potential regulatory approvals, and anticipated financial impacts and other effects of the proposed Business Combination, the satisfaction of the closing conditions to the proposed Business Combination, the timing of the completion of the proposed Business Combination, and the size and potential growth of current or future markets for the combined company’s supply of battery metals. These forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Most of these factors are outside SOAC’s and DeepGreen’s control and are difficult to predict. Factors that may cause such differences include, but are not limited to: the occurrence of any event, change, or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of the Business Combination Agreement; the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against SOAC and DeepGreen following the announcement of the Business Combination Agreement and the transactions contemplated therein; the inability to complete the proposed Business Combination, including due to failure to obtain approval of the shareholders of SOAC and DeepGreen, certain regulatory approvals, or satisfy other conditions to closing in the Business Combination Agreement; the occurrence of any event, change, or other circumstance that could give rise to the termination of the Business Combination Agreement or could otherwise cause the transaction to fail to close; the impact of COVID-19 on DeepGreen’s business and/or the ability of the parties to complete the proposed Business Combination; the inability to obtain or maintain the listing of the combined company’s shares on NYSE or Nasdaq following the proposed Business Combination; the risk that the proposed Business Combination disrupts current plans and operations as a result of the announcement and consummation of the proposed Business Combination; the ability to recognize the anticipated benefits of the proposed Business Combination, which may be affected by, among other things, the commercial and technical feasibility of seafloor polymetallic nodule mining and processing; the supply and demand for battery metals; the future prices of battery metals; the timing and content of ISA’s exploitation regulations that will create the legal and technical framework for exploitation of polymetallic nodules in the Clarion Clipperton Zone; government regulation of deep seabed mining operations and changes in mining laws and regulations; environmental risks; the timing and amount of estimated future production, costs of production, capital expenditures and requirements for additional capital; cash flow provided by operating activities; unanticipated reclamation expenses; claims and limitations on insurance coverage; the uncertainty in mineral resource estimates; the uncertainty in geological, hydrological, metallurgical and geotechnical studies and opinions; infrastructure risks; and dependence on key management personnel and executive officers; and other risks and uncertainties indicated from time to time in the final prospectus of SOAC for its initial public offering and the proxy statement/prospectus relating to the proposed Business Combination, including those under “Risk Factors” therein, and in SOAC’s other filings with the SEC. SOAC and DeepGreen caution that the foregoing list of factors is not exclusive. SOAC and DeepGreen caution readers not to place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. SOAC and DeepGreen do not undertake or accept any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect any change in its expectations or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which any such statement is based.