Journey

DeepGreen is on a journey to supply critical metals for the transition to electric vehicles and clean energy. We are working toward the day when all metals are recycled, and mining virgin resources is no longer needed. Today, however, there is not enough metal in the global system to close the loop. DeepGreen’s three-part journey is about changing the metals game. It begins with bringing metallic nodules up from the deep ocean floor.

Chapter 1

The first chapter of our journey involves getting enough base metals into the system, with the least environmental and social impact. To do this, we plan to collect polymetallic nodules from roughly four miles deep, processing them with zero solid waste and supplying battery metals to EV manufacturers. On a global scale, using ocean nodules to supply metals for one billion electric vehicle batteries will generate at least 70% less CO2 equivalent emissions than producing these metals from land ores.

 

Ocean Floor
Ocean FloorAt abyssal depths below 4000 meters, polymetallic nodules occur in great abundance. The CCZ is one of the largest known sources of nickel and cobalt on the planet, and can supply critical base metals with less environmental and social impact.Read More
Offshore System
Offshore SystemOur engineers are building a sophisticated system connecting surface to the seabed
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Environmental Impact Assessment
Environmental Impact AssessmentWe are currently in our EIA phase, and have deployed marine monitoring equipment to contribute to our extensive baseline studies of benthic and pelagic characteristics.
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Biodiversity
BiodiversityWe map and monitor biodiversity in our exploration area and will engineer our systems to reduce impacts on benthic and pelagic life.
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Impact: Return water
Impact: Return waterWe are researching, along with independent scientists, the physical, chemical and biological properties of return water and the optimal depth to release it to minimize disturbance.
Impact: Plumes
Impact: PlumesSediments disturbed by harvester vehicles may impact benthic and pelagic filter feeders as it resettles to the seafloor. We are modelling plumes to understand how to optimize operations to reduce impacts, and will openly share the data.
Ocean Floor
Ocean FloorAt abyssal depths below 4000 meters, polymetallic nodules occur in great abundance. The CCZ is one of the largest known sources of nickel and cobalt on the planet, and can supply critical base metals with less environmental and social impact.Read More
Offshore System
Offshore SystemOur engineers are building a sophisticated system connecting surface to the seabed
Watch Video
Environmental Impact Assessment
Environmental Impact AssessmentWe are currently in our EIA phase, and have deployed marine monitoring equipment to contribute to our extensive baseline studies of benthic and pelagic characteristics.
Watch Video
Biodiversity
BiodiversityWe map and monitor biodiversity in our exploration area and will engineer our systems to reduce impacts on benthic and pelagic life.
Watch Video

We are currently exploring for polymetallic nodules in the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ) in the Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and Mexico. These are international waters and the nodules are deemed to be part of the ‘common heritage of humankind.’ The development of nodule resources is regulated by the International Seabed Authority, an international body established in 1994 pursuant to UNCLOS.

Polymetallic nodules are effectively a ‘battery in a rock’. Metals including nickel, cobalt, manganese and copper precipitate in the ocean and form the nodules over millions of years. Unlike many land ores, nodules do not contain toxic levels of heavy elements, can be processed with zero tailings and 100% of their mass can be turned into usable materials.

The nodules lie on the surface of the abyssal plain in the CCZ, the largest desert on the planet. DeepGreen has exploration rights — issued by the ISA — to two designated blocks in the CCZ, one sponsored by Nauru (NORI Area) and the other sponsored by Kiribati (Marawa Area). The NORI Area alone contains enough metal to potentially supply battery metals for 140 million electric vehicles.

 

 

At 3,800-5,500 meters deep it is perpetually dark, the pressure is intense, and there is a vast sedimentary seabed with gentle depressions, troughs and ridges. Ecologically it is a stable, food-poor environment with low biomass. Animals depend on particles that sink from oligotrophic surface waters​.

 

 

Chapter 2

Within a decade of DeepGreen’s first commercial production, we aim to move towards recycling battery metals, so that we can help facilitate the transition to the closed-loop world. We are proactively working towards this model by establishing partnerships with like-minded EV and battery manufacturers committed to a circular supply chain.

Once we begin supplying base metals to the electric vehicle industry, we will secure custody of our metals in the supply chain. This means that we will track our metals as they go into EV batteries, and we will recycle the metals at the end of the battery’s life as a service. Our base metals recycling business will grow over time, and eventually the metals derived from recycling will account for the lion share of what we do and what we are about as a company.

 

 

DeepGreen Circular Economy