Third of Seven Ocean Campaigns, Co-sponsored with Maersk, Retrieves Thousands of Polymetallic Nodules from Top of Ocean Floor
San Diego, CA — DeepGreen Metal’s (DeepGreen) research vessel, the Maersk Launcher, has returned to port in San Diego today, Monday, June 4th, after nearly two months at sea. This is the third of seven campaigns to pursue the evaluation of deep ocean metals, which will be indispensable for powering a low-carbon and high-tech economy — battery storage systems, electric vehicles, smart phones, wind turbines and solar panels.
All campaign objectives were met, and the program was completed safely. The program undertook detailed mapping of the seafloor using a state-of-the-art Hugin 1000 AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle), with a sensor package comprised of a multibeam echosounder, side scan sonar, sub-bottom profilers and high-resolution camera. Box core samples were also taken which provide an accurate representative sample of the seafloor used for resource, environmental base line and geotechnical purposes.
The purpose of this campaign was to select and map in detail the location of a mechanised collector test which is planned to be conducted in a future campaign as well as mapping two preservation reference areas. These surveys and samples will be used to inform detailed collector design, improve resource definition for production planning purposes and will form part of the environmental baseline studies.
The results are astounding, producing detailed maps with up to 20 cm resolution with 2286 line km of data collected. Photo traverses confirm continuous fields with high polymetallic nodule abundance and initial review of box core samples indicates abundances greater than previous estimates. Laboratory analysis will be conducted over the coming months as will detailed interpretation of the more than 15 terabytes of data that was collected during the campaign.
The research results, which were carried out four kilometres below the surface, confirm abundant seafloor polymetallic nodules, which prior analysis shows contain essential metals such as cobalt, nickel, copper and manganese. The ship is operated by Maersk Supply Services in alliance with The Company’s subsidiary, Nauru Ocean Resources, Inc. (NORI).
DeepGreen and NORI are developing technology that will allow them to collect the polymetallic nodules lying on top of the ocean floor, bring them to the surface using state-of-the-art technology and process them with the objective of producing zero-waste.
These metals are now principally mined on land, often in very environmentally and socially destructive ways (such as child mining for cobalt in the Congo). DeepGreen and NORI stand out for their commitment to ensuring that their operations are preceded by the necessary science to ensure that these metals for our future can be obtained in an environmentally sound and sustainable way.
“This campaign has been a success and we will move forward with our plan to carry out the necessary science, resource delineation and engineering required to complete our pre-feasibility and feasibility study,” said Gerard Barron, CEO of DeepGreen. “With our partners Maersk and the underwater mapping company, Fugro, we have successfully brought thousands of polymetallic nodules to the surface and completed vital mapping of this resource. This is a major step in DeepGreen’s quest to bring the world an economically reliable and environmentally sustainable supply of the metals for our future.”
The two-month campaign, overseen by DeepGreen’s subsidiary, NORI, has carried out extensive scientific and resource surveys within part of a 75,000-square-kilometer area of the Eastern Pacific’s abyssal plain, contracted to NORI by the United Nations’ International Seabed Authority (ISA).
“The voyage with Maersk Launcher yielded encouraging insight into the nodules and the environment. It is great to see our vessel and project management skills being utilized in a new industry, supporting our diversification journey. We look forward to continuing the collaboration on- and offshore with DeepGreen in the upcoming campaigns,” says Jonas Munch Agerskov, Chief Strategy officer in Maersk Supply Service and board member at DeepGreen.
Additionally, Edward J. Saade, President of Fugro USA, shared, “We are excited and proud to support DeepGreen on this important project. We were able to successfully complete several ground-breaking tasks during the course of this deployment, while continuously operating at these depths. We are looking forward to seeing the conclusions derived from the analyses of the various data collected.”
DeepGreen is a Canadian company offering a new and disruptive approach to supplying the world with metals needed for economic growth and clean technologies. With its patented processing technology, DeepGreen is on track to become a leading producer of base and strategic metals obtained from vast high-grade seafloor polymetallic nodule deposits containing nickel, manganese, copper and cobalt. The Company’s leading achievements have already drawn attention from miner and metal trader Glencore, which has contracted to buy a percentage of the nickel and copper produced from a DeepGreen processing plant. Glencore has also made an investment in DeepGreen.
About Nauru Ocean Resources Inc. (NORI):
NORI, a Nauruan company sponsored by the Republic of Nauru, is engaged in the exploration and sustainable development of seafloor mineral resources. In 2011, NORI became the first company to obtain a license from the United Nations’ International Seabed Authority to explore for minerals in the international seabed area. It will not operate near shallow coral reefs, volcanic ocean vents nor require digging, drilling or use of explosives.
For the purposes of this news release, Anthony P O’Sullivan, BSc Hons, MSc , Chief Development Officer of DeepGreen, is the Qualified Person for DeepGreen Metals Inc. as defined by National Instrument 43-101. Mr. O’Sullivan is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, with over 5 years of experience in seafloor exploration and mining, including seafloor polymetallic nodules exploration and analysis. Mr. O’Sullivan is responsible for ensuring that the technical information contained in this news release is an accurate summary of the original reports and data provided to or developed by DeepGreen Metals Inc.
Looking Forward Statement:
This news release contains forward looking statements which constitute "forward looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation and "forward looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (collectively, "Forward looking Statements"). All statements included herein, other than statements of historical fact, are Forward looking Statements and are subject to a variety of known and unknown risks and uncertainties which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those reflected in the Forward looking Statements. The Forward Looking Statements in this news release may include, without limitation, statements about plans for mineral properties; the Company`s business strategy, plans and outlook; the merit of mineral properties; mineral resource and reserve estimates; timelines; the future financial or operating performance of the Company; expenditures; approvals and other matters. Often, but not always, these Forward looking Statements can be identified by the use of words such as "estimated", "potential", "open", "future", "assumed", "projected", "used", "detailed", "has been", "gain", "planned", "reflecting", "will", "containing", "remaining", "to be", or statements that events, "could" or "should" occur or be achieved and similar expressions, including negative variations.
Forward looking Statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the Forward looking Statements. Such uncertainties and factors include, among others, changes in general economic conditions and financial markets; changes in prices for cobalt, manganese, copper, nickel and other metals; technological and operational hazards in exploration and development activities; uncertainties inherent in the estimation of mineral reserves, mineral resources and metal recoveries; governmental and other approvals; political unrest or instability in countries where DeepGreen and its subsidiaries are active; and labor relations issues. There can be no assurance that Forward Looking Statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, investors should not place undue reliance on Forward looking Statements.