It is becoming increasingly harder to extract minerals on land in an environmentally and socially acceptable manner. The rate of new major mineral discoveries is slowing and the environmental and social costs on land have risen due to declining mineral grades and more complex ores with higher impurities.

In contrast, and due to their location and specific geological and mineralogical characteristics, obtaining society’s essential metals from seafloor polymetallic nodules can have significant environmental advantages, including:

  • minimal overburden and stripping to gain access to the mineral deposit;
  • decreased extraction waste;
  • minimal production infrastructure;
  • clean mineral processing options;
  • no need to build roads, pipelines and railway lines for haulage from deposit site to port;
  • no drill blasting;
  • no acid mine drainage at mine site; and
  • no deforestation.

Metals play an essential role in society: used in equipment to harvest and transport our food; in the construction of our homes, schools and buildings; in the pipes that supply our water; in wires that power our lighting and telecommunications infrastructure; and in medical devices supporting our physical wellbeing. Lack of access to these metals at affordable prices is a growing threat to long-term social development, particularly in third world countries. DeepGreen is looking to open up a new sustainable supply of these essential raw materials.

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.