The Project

DeepGreen believes that producing metals from seafloor polymetallic nodules not only offers significant environmental and social advantages, but also avoids many of the costs and technical challenges associated with mining on land where ore grades quality are declining and deposits are increasingly located in more remote and challenging geographic and political jurisdictions.

Following are just some of the advantages of seafloor polymetallic nodule harvesting:

Trial mining of polymetallic modules in the CCZ in the 1970's
  • High-Grade Multi-Metal Deposit:

    Seafloor polymetallic nodules offer diversification and multiple revenue streams across the 3 major metals of Manganese, Nickel and Copper, which are generally not found together on land in high grade. To produce those metals from land based resources would require the significant cost of building and operating 3 land mines (a Nickel-Cobalt mine, a Copper mine and a Manganese mine) and related infrastructure (in different locations) and 3 lots of pre-stripping or mine development.

  • Infrastructure Savings:

    Nodules can be conveyed directly from the seafloor to a vessel ready to be shipped, avoiding the need to construct an export port, rail and/or haulage roads to transport the ore from mine site to port (resulting in significant CAPEX savings and avoiding associated infrastructure access risks). Rather than being constructed in a remote location with attendant high costs as is often the case for a land based mine, the vessel (mining platform) and processing plant can be constructed cost effectively at an industrial port with access to existing infrastructure, skilled labor, efficient power and close to market.

  • Choice of Construction Location:

    Land-based projects increasingly require a mine to be built in a remote location. Governments can also stipulate that downstream processing takes place in their jurisdiction, which may not be the most economic option and may expose the plant to high sovereign risk. In contrast, DeepGreen has the flexibility to build its polymetallic nodule processing plant in a location of its choice, for example in an efficient industrial center in a stable jurisdiction with favorable fiscal regimes, investment incentives, low power and labor costs, and close to market.

  • Reusable Capital:

    Seafloor resources can be aggregated and the mining platform can be moved from deposit to deposit, as opposed to having to build a new mine and infrastructure as is often the case for each new land-based mine.

  • Surface Deposit:

    Nodules are a surface deposit requiring no pre-stripping nor the expenses associated with shaft sinking or drill blasting. Nodules lie ready to be harvested requiring no cutting or grinding as they are not attached to substrate.

  • No Mine Site Communities:

    No disturbance at mine site of local communities or need to compensate communities or negotiate land access rights or native title.

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.