NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Metals Company (Nasdaq: TMC) (“TMC” or the “Company”), an explorer of the world’s largest estimated undeveloped source of battery metals for electric vehicles (“EVs”), today announced the completion of their event in Rotterdam, Netherlands, ‘Engineering the Future with Allseas,’, co-hosted by the Company’s strategic partner and shareholder, Allseas Group S.A. (“Allseas”). In partnership with TMC, Allseas is developing a deep-sea collection system to responsibly recover polymetallic nodules from the ocean floor and lift them to the surface for transportation to shore.
At the event, key stakeholders were given the opportunity to tour the pilot polymetallic nodule collection vessel, the Hidden Gem, and the facility where the prototype of a nodule collector vehicle is being built. The Hidden Gem is a 228-meter-long former drill ship and is currently undergoing key modifications to enable at-sea deployment through its existing moonpool of a 4.3-kilometer-long riser that would bring polymetallic nodules up from the seafloor. The Hidden Gem is expected to become the world’s first ship classed as a subsea mining vessel by the American Bureau of Shipping. Allseas engineers have also integrated a launch and recovery system for the twelve-meter-long nodule collector vehicle that would enable it to be deployed over the side of the vessel.
Both the Hidden Gem and the nodule collector vehicle are key components of the partnership’s efforts to responsibly recover polymetallic nodules from the ocean floor and lift them to the surface for transportation to shore for processing. Allseas current schedule has the Hidden Gem being deployed in the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ) to undertake collection tests in mid-2022. The estimated in situ resource on the seafloor in the exploration contract areas held by TMC’s subsidiaries is sufficient for 280 million EVs – roughly the entire U.S. passenger vehicle fleet. The development of this resource offers an abundant, low-cost supply of critical raw materials for EV batteries and wiring including nickel, cobalt, copper and manganese, with an expected lower lifecycle ESG impact than conventional land-based mining.
“One of the great opportunities we have in getting this industry started is the conversion of assets from the oil and gas industry, which enables us to reach our milestones with significantly less capital expense,” said Gerard Barron, Chairman and CEO of The Metals Company. “It was an honor to be able to showcase the incredible ingenuity of Allseas engineering for our key stakeholders, to see the collector coming to life and to stand onboard the Hidden Gem and witness her transformation firsthand. The fact that she will be ready for trials next year and for production in what we anticipate will be 2024 is tremendously exciting.”
Edward Heerema, Founder and President of Allseas, said: “We’ve studied this industry very carefully for many years and when we gained the certainty as engineers that this can work, we really went for it. There is no better solution than the conversion of the Hidden Gem for the first nodule production ship and the development of the collector vehicle and vertical transportation system are currently in a stage that we are very comfortable with.”
About The Metals Company
The Metals Company is a Canadian 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 and commercial rights to three polymetallic nodule contract areas in the Clarion Clipperton Zone (the “CCZ”) 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.
Allseas Group S.A. is a world-leading contractor in offshore pipeline installation, heavy lift and subsea construction. The company employs 2500 people worldwide and operates a versatile fleet of specialised heavy-lift, pipelay and support vessels, designed and developed in-house.
More information about Allseas is available at www.allseas.com
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. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, TMC’s expectations with respect to the readiness of the Hidden Gem and the nodule collector vehicle, the use and functionality of its equipment and its partnership with Allseas and the timing of the pilot nodule collection test trials. 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; 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, dated and filed with the SEC on August 12, 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.