Patent Granted for the DeepGreen Process

Following successful completion of micro plant work, DeepGreen was granted its first patent in November 2014 over its hydrometallurgical process to treat seafloor polymetallic nodules and efficiently extract and produce high-grade nickel, manganese, copper and cobalt products.

DeepGreen’s hydrometallurgical process involves leaching the nodules to put the key metals into solution from which they would be sequentially recovered (the “DeepGreen Process”).

The DeepGreen Process is aiming for zero tailings generation, with the potential for this to be a step change for the minerals industry where disposal of large volumes of tailings is considered one of the biggest environmental impacts imposed by land based mining.

Key attributes of the DeepGreen Process include the following:

  • Operates at atmospheric pressure and medium temperature.
  • Zero tailings generation.
  • Produces LME Grade Nickel and Cobalt, premium grade manganese dioxide and copper sulphide.
  • Additional products include zinc sulphide concentrate, high-grade silica and iron hydroxide, as well as a nitrogen-calcium feed for the fertilizer industry.

About DeepGreen

DeepGreen plans 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. Large, long-life and high-grade mineral deposits on land are becoming scarce, yet global metal demand continues to rise and the mining industry is being increasingly constrained by environmental and land access issues making it harder to extract and process minerals on land. DeepGreen’s mission is to provide a cleaner and more economically attractive solution for the world to source metals essential to growth.

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Seafloor mineral extraction also offers a socially sustainable alternative to terrestrial mining as it does not impact local landholders, villagers, cultural or heritage lands nor does it cause social displacement which is common to many land-based mining operations.