NEW YORK – Oct. 4, 2021 — The Metals Company (NASDAQ: TMC) (the “Company” or “TMC”), an explorer of the world’s largest estimated undeveloped source of battery metals for EVs, today reaffirmed its development and capital outlook and provided a business update.
Development and Capital Outlook
TMC today reaffirmed its development and capital plan through the third quarter of 2023, when it expects to submit its application to the International Seabed Authority for an Exploitation Contract for its NORI-D contract area in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ) of the Pacific Ocean over 1,000 miles off the US western seaboard.
Gerard Barron, Chairman and CEO of The Metals Company, said: “TMC is uniquely positioned at the intersection of three megatrends underpinning the multi-decade green energy transition: electrification, decoupling of supply chains and increased focus on ESG impacts. With the rally in prices for the metals contained in polymetallic nodules and President Biden prominently highlighting the need for more domestic processing and refining of critical minerals like nickel, we expect that the demand for battery metals will continue to grow. We continue building the operational, strategic and scientific foundations we need to unlock our enormous estimated resource with a lighter planetary and social footprint than land-based mining. This momentum, combined with our substantial cash position and world-class strategic partners and investors – including Allseas, Maersk and Glencore – position us strongly to deliver on our goals over the next two years. We expect to meet all key requirements to lodge our application by the end of the third quarter of 2023 for an exploitation contract for NORI-D, where a 3rd party economic analysis indicated, as of January 1, 2021, a project net present value of $6.8 billion assuming conservative metal prices . The NORI-D area, ranked as the largest undeveloped nickel project in the world and representing just 22% of the Company’s estimated defined resource, is only the beginning. Across our full NORI and TOML contract areas, we have identified a sufficient estimated amount of nickel, copper, cobalt and manganese in situ to support the electrification of 280 million EVs, or approximately the entire US passenger vehicle fleet.”
As of September 30, 2021, TMC held cash and cash equivalents of approximately $113 million, which it believes will enable it to achieve four key milestones by the end of the third quarter of 2023. These include:
- Completion of a pilot plant program to process and refine polymetallic nodules into critical metals including nickel, copper, cobalt and manganese which are essential to the transition to clean energy and electric vehicles;
- Construction and deployment of the pilot collection system to lift nodules to the surface and transport them to shore where they can be processed with near-zero solid waste, no tailings or deforestation, and with careful attention to limit harm to the integrity of the deep-ocean ecosystem;
- Completion and submission of the Environmental Impact Assessment, a key part of one of the most comprehensive deep-sea research programs to date; and
- Submission of an application to the ISA for an exploitation contract for its NORI-D area of the CCZ, which is estimated to contain 356 million metric tonnes of wet nodules containing high-grade nickel, copper, cobalt and manganese mineral resources.
Following the completion of the business combination between DeepGreen Metals Inc. and Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corp. on September 9, 2021, there have been a number of developments related to the advancement of TMC’s business and strategy, including:
- The 228-meter-long former drill ship renamed the Hidden Gem arrived in Rotterdam on September 21, 2021, to begin its conversion into what is expected to be the first ship classified as a sub-sea mining vessel by the American Bureau of Shipping. TMC and its partner Allseas expect the vessel to be operational for pilot nodule collection tests in 2022.
- TMC completed the pilot smelting phase of its pyrometallurgical campaign, deriving an alloy comprised of high-grade battery metals. The smelting work was conducted in Canada in partnership with Expert Process Solutions (XPS) with support from Hatch and Optimize Group.
- The Company launched its fourth environmental campaign this year, Expedition 5C, advancing its multi-year deep-sea research program intended to establish a rigorous environmental baseline and characterize the potential impacts of its proposed nodule collection operations, with researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, University of Maryland, Texas A&M and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.
- The International Seabed Authority continues to work against a two-year deadline to finalize regulations regarding deep sea mining by July 9, 2023, pursuant to the Republic of Nauru exercising its sovereign rights under Section 1, paragraph 15 of the 1994 Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (“UNCLOS”). This notice has obliged the ISA to complete the adoption of exploitation regulations within two years of the request made by the member state. If the ISA has not completed the adoption of such regulations within the prescribed time and an application for approval of a plan of work for exploitation, as TMC’s subsidiary NORI intends to submit, is pending before the ISA, the ISA shall nonetheless consider and provisionally approve such plan of work. An in-person ISA Council & Assembly meeting in Kingston, Jamaica has been scheduled for December 6 – 15, 2021.
About The Metals Company
The Metals Company is an explorer of lower-impact battery metals from seafloor polymetallic nodules, on a dual mission: (1) supply metals for the clean energy transition with the least possible negative environmental and social impact and (2) accelerate the transition to a circular metal economy. The company through its subsidiaries holds 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 governments of Nauru, Kiribati and the Kingdom of Tonga. More information is available at www.metals.co.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements made in this press release 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. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, without limitation, the net present value of its NORI-D resource, TMC’s expectations with respect to meeting key milestones, development of its estimated resources of battery metals, the timing of its application to the ISA for an exploitation contract, potential regulatory approvals, the size and potential growth of current or future markets for TMC’s supply of battery metals and TMC’s expectations with respect to the success of its research campaign Environmental Expedition 5C and the results or outcomes of these campaigns and expeditions, respectively. 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 TMC’s control and are difficult to predict. Factors that may cause such differences include, but are not limited to: regulatory uncertainties and the impact of government regulation and political instability on TMC’s resource activities; changes to any of the laws, rules, regulations or policies to which TMC is subject; the impact of extensive and costly environmental requirements on TMC’s operations and the timing to completion of the Environmental Impact Assessment ; environmental liabilities; the impact of polymetallic nodule collection on biodiversity in the CCZ and recovery rates of impacted ecosystems; TMC’s ability to develop minerals in sufficient grade or quantities to justify commercial operations; the lack of development of seafloor polymetallic nodule deposit; uncertainty in the estimates for mineral resource calculations from certain contract areas and for the grade and quality of polymetallic nodule deposits; risks associated with natural hazards; uncertainty with respect to the specialized treatment and processing of polymetallic nodules that TMC may recover; risks associated with collective, development and processing operations; fluctuations in transportation costs; testing and manufacturing of equipment; risks associated with TMC’s limited operating history; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; risks associated with TMC’s intellectual property; and other risks and uncertainties indicated from time to time in the final prospectus and definitive proxy statement, filed with the SEC on August 13, 2021 relating to the recently completed business combination, including those under “Risk Factors” therein, and in TMC’s other future filings with the SEC. TMC cautions that the foregoing list of factors is not exclusive. TMC cautions readers not to place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. TMC does 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 except as required by law.
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