NORI-D Project – Nauru Ocean Resources Inc.
Nauru Ocean Resources, Inc., is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Metals Company.
In 2011, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) granted a polymetallic nodule exploration contract in the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ) to NORI, sponsored by the government of the Republic of Nauru. Since then, in close partnership with Nauru and working with leading researchers and institutions, NORI has progressed with a comprehensive seabed-to-surface research program in one of its designated areas, NORI-D. Representing 22% of The Metals Company’s estimated resource in the CCZ, NORI-D is ranked as the largest undeveloped nickel project in the world.
NORI has completed 18 resource evaluation and environmental baseline campaigns including Environmental Expedition 5E (Nov. 2021), Environmental Expedition 5D (April 2021), Environmental Expedition 4D (June 2020), Campaign 6B (Nov. 2019), and Campaign 3 (April 2018), with a wide range of meteorological and oceanographic measurements and data collected, including on biodiversity, deep-sea food chains, ecosystem function, geochemistry, and nutrient cycles. NORI expects to submit an application to the ISA for an exploitation contract for NORI-D in the second half of 2023.
Below, our current progress report:
COMPLETED: Sponsorship Agreement
COMPLETED: Exploration Contract
COMPLETED: Resource Technical Report Summary
SUBMITTED: Collector Test Environmental and Social Impact Assessment
Q3 2023: Exploitation contract application submission expected
2024: Small-scale commercial production expected
2025: Larger-scale production start expected
Nauru is an island nation located in the South Pacific, it’s fringed by a coral reef that acts as the island’s main defense from rising sea levels. Colonial exploitation of Nauru’s rich phosphate reserves created a legacy of environmental degradation that left the entire interior of the island uninhabitable and unsuitable for agriculture. As a result of this legacy, Nauru is dedicated to ensuring that future extractive activities are done responsibly. Nauru is a party to UNCLOS and a member of the ISA whose mandate is to organize, regulate and control mineral-related activities in the international seabed area for the benefit of humankind. The country has implemented legislation that governs its participation in this industry, and is the first sponsoring state to access the developing state land bank in an effort to diversify its economy and contribute to the transition to clean energy.
NORI is committed to open and transparent stakeholder engagement to ensure that we operate in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.
The following principles inform NORI’s stakeholder engagement:
- Proactive engagement and listening: We seek and welcome diverse thoughts, opinions, and experiences to help us make better decisions and outcomes.
- Accessibility: We are committed to reducing barriers to participation and will offer a variety of channels and methods to encourage equitable engagement.
- Responsiveness: We will consider, respond, and incorporate stakeholder feedback where we can and if not possible, explain why. We will be clear about how we incorporate feedback into our planning and decision making.
- Transparency: We are transparent – we are open, true, and direct with stakeholders about our company, operations, and decisions and provide accurate information. We are committed to providing opportunities for external monitoring.
- Grievances: We ensure that there is an accessible and responsive means for stakeholders to raise concerns and grievances about the project through its life.
- Reporting: We track, measure and report on our stakeholder performance to learn, adapt and improve our approaches.
- For information on NORI’s recent Environmental Impact Assessment work, please visit: The Republic of Nauru’s Stakeholder Consultation Portal
Social Impact Assessment
In international waters far from human communities, the NORI-D Polymetallic Nodule Project presents a fascinating challenge for the development of a Social Impact Assessment (SIA). We are delighted to partner with Prizma LLC, an independent ESG, impact assessment and sustainability advisory practice with deep experience in natural resources.
On May 5th, 2022, NORI will co-host with Prizma LLC a scoping workshop in Vancouver, BC, to explore the fascinating challenge of developing a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) for NORI-D. We will also soon be sharing a draft SIA scoping document for public review and will offer additional opportunities to engage on the SIA and related work over the coming months as we also explore opportunities to enhance social benefits. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.