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Subsea Mining News

22 May 2024

At Least Two Companies Seek Norway Seabed Mining Permits

© Andriy / Adobe Stock

Two companies said on Wednesday they are seeking offshore seabed acreage on the Norwegian continental shelf where they hope to explore for minerals, in what could be the start of a controversial new mining industry.The process puts Norway on track to become the first country to start commercial production from its continental shelf of metals useful in the transition from from oil and gas, such as copper, cobalt and zinc, as well as rare earth elements (REE).Nominations for acreage…

20 Jun 2023

Norway Moves to Open Its Waters to Deep-sea Mining

© idea_studio / Adobe Stock

The Norwegian government on Tuesday proposed opening its waters to deep-sea mining despite opposition from green campaigners and some countries, as it seeks to shift from a reliance on hydrocarbons to new sources of economic activity.Norway, whose vast oil and gas reserves made it one of the world's wealthiest countries, has taken a leading role in the global race to mine the ocean floor for metals that are in high demand as countries transition away from fossil fuels."We need minerals to succeed with the green transition…

03 Apr 2023

UN to Start Taking Deep-sea Mining Applications This July

File photo. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2019 Southeastern U.S. Deep-sea Exploration.

The International Seabed Authority will start accepting applications in July from companies that want to mine the ocean's floor, a decision that came after the U.N. body spent the past two weeks debating standards for the new and controversial practice.Deep-sea mining would extract cobalt, copper, nickel, and manganese - key battery materials - from potato-sized rocks called "polymetallic nodules" on the ocean's floor at depths of 4 to 6 km (2.5 to 4 miles). They are abundant…

17 Mar 2023

Norway's Loke Buys UK Deep-sea Mining Firm from Lockheed

(Photo: Loke Marine Minerals)

Norway's Loke Marine Minerals has acquired deep-sea mining firm UK Seabed Resources (UKSR) from Lockheed Martin, the companies said on Thursday.UKSR holds a 100% interest in two deep sea mineral licences in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ) in the Pacific Ocean, and a 19.9% interest in the Ocean Mineral Singapore, licences issued by the International Seabed Authority (ISA)."We've got the approval from the UK government... Our ambition is to start extraction from 2030," Hans Olav Hide…

09 Feb 2023

Canada Says 'Rigorous' Regulations Needed for Subsea Mining

© Deyan / Adobe Stock

The Canadian government said on Thursday it would not allow mining in its domestic ocean seabeds without a "rigorous regulatory structure" and that the need for natural resources does not override Ottawa's environmental commitments.Sea floor nodules contain critical minerals used in batteries that are needed to fuel the world's transition to clean energy, but trawling the sea floor for them could disrupt ecosystems."Canada does not presently have a domestic legal framework that would permit seabed mining and, in the absence of a rigorous regulatory structure, will not authorize seabed mining i

24 Jan 2023

Subsea Mining Plans Pit Renewable Energy Demand Against Ocean Life

Deep sea sponges and other creatures live on and among valuable manganese nodules like this one that could be mined from the seafloor. ROV KIEL 6000/GEOMAR

As companies race to expand renewable energy and the batteries to store it, finding sufficient amounts of rare earth metals to build the technology is no easy feat. That’s leading mining companies to take a closer look at a largely unexplored frontier – the deep ocean seabed.A wealth of these metals can be found in manganese nodules that look like cobblestones scattered across wide areas of deep ocean seabed. But the fragile ecosystems deep in the oceans are little understood…

28 Oct 2021

UN Deep-sea Mining Rules Unlikely to be Completed by 2023 Deadline, Latam Countries Say

(Photo: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research)

Regulations governing deep-sea mining will take longer to finalize due to the global pandemic, a group of Latin American countries said, creating uncertainty for companies looking to mine the sea bed for metals, including cobalt and nickel.The delayed negotiations also pose a potential difficulty for companies seeking financing from investors to mine the sea floor.The U.N.’s International Seabed Authority (ISA) is working on global rules covering sea bed mining, which is not allowed…

07 Oct 2021

ABS to Class Allseas' Deep Sea Mining Ship

Credit: The Metals Company

Classification society ABS said it has been selected to class a former drillship that is being converted to a subsea mining vessel.The industry-first project will see Allseas’ 228-meter Vitoria 10000, now renamed Hidden Gem, equipped with a deep-sea mineral collection system to recover polymetallic nodules from the ocean floor and transfer them to the surface for transportation to shore. The nodules contain high grades of nickel, manganese, copper and cobalt—key metals required…

13 Sep 2021

Deep-sea Mining firm The Metals Co Tumbles 17% on Nasdaq Debut

© piccaya / Adobe Stock

The Metals Co (TMC) was trading down around 17% after listing on the Nasdaq on Friday following its creation from the merger of deep-sea mining exploration firm DeepGreen and a blank-check company.TMC opened at $11.0535 a share but started falling soon after, hitting a low of $8.31.In a filing on Tuesday, TMC said it had received only $110.3 million of the proceeds from a private placement of Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corp (SOAC) shares, having entered into agreements with investors for a $330 million placement.“SOAC intends to continue to seek to enforce the funding obligations of

16 Aug 2021

ABS AIP for Deep-sea Mining Riser and Lift System

© chrisdorney/AdobeStock

ABS awarded China Merchants Industry (CMI) Approval in Principle (AIP) for its self-developed Deep-sea Mining Riser and Lift System.The AIP follows ABS awarding AIP for CMI’s deep-sea mining system design, which was the first since ABS published the Guide for Subsea Mining, detailing class requirements for the design, construction, operation, and survey of mobile offshore mining units in 2020. This latest AIP also refers to the ABS Guide for Building and Classing Subsea Riser Systems.“Deep-sea mineral extraction requires us to push the technological frontiers…

12 Aug 2021

Wilhelmsen, NorSea Acquire Stake in Norwegian Deep-sea Mining Firm

From left: Wilhelmsen’s Jan Eyvin Wang (Executive VP New Energy) and Espen Gjerde (VP Strategy and M&A). Photo: Wilhelmsen Group/Hans Fredrik Asbjørnsen.

Global maritime group Wilhelmsen and the Norwegian offshore supply base firm NorSea have together acquired an 18% stake in the Norwegian deep-sea mining company Loke Marine Minerals."As the energy transition continues to gather pace, we are actively looking at new projects and business areas, outside of the oil and gas industry, where NorSea’s unique port infrastructure and proven service and supply know-how can continue to be a key driver of success. The development of the seabed mineral industry in Norway is far from certain…

03 Aug 2021

Subsea Mining: All Eyes on Marine Minerals Offshore Norway

In July, Allseas’ ‘Hidden Gem’ heads to Tenerife for drydock modifications ahead of a collector “wet-test” in the Atlantic at the end of 2021 and the official start of pilot mining tests in the Pacific, 1200 nautical miles west of Mexico, in 2022. Photo from Allseas.

Marine minerals are coming under sharp focus offshore Norway. Analysts suggest it could be a $20 billion annual revenue industry by 2050, which is why many are taking an interest and developing the technology to make it happen. Marine mineral mining has been something of a slow burner in the wider marine world. It has some clear challenges, not least location and depth of these potential resources, but also concerns around its environmental impact.Yet it now appears to be coming into a distinctly sharp focus…

15 Jun 2021

Odyssey Marine Exploration Appoints Jones as CFO

U.S.-based subsea mining company Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. announced it has expanded its executive and legal teams. On Monday, the firm's Board of Directors appointed Christopher "Chris" E. Jones as Chief Financial Officer and reappointed Jay Nudi as the company’s Principal Accounting Officer and Treasurer.“As we evaluated our strategic plans and every part of our business over the past year, it became clear that we needed to add specific expertise to our executive team to allow Odyssey to execute on its strategic plan,” commented Mark D. Gordon, Chairman and CEO of Odyssey. “Chris brings extensive experience in international business development…

06 Apr 2021

Greenpeace Stages Pacific Ocean Protest Against Deep-sea Mining

© Marten van Dijl / Greenpeace

Greenpeace protested against deep-sea mining in the Pacific on Monday, with the environmental organization’s Rainbow Warrior boat trailing a ship doing research for DeepGreen, a company which plans to mine the seabed for battery metals.Greenpeace activists were pictured in rubber dinghies holding banners reading “Stop Deep Sea Mining!”, with the Maersk Launcher, a ship chartered by DeepGreen, in the background.The protest took place 900 nautical miles (1,036 miles) off Mexico’s western coast…

04 Mar 2021

Subsea Miner DeepGreen to Go Public Via $2.9 Billion SPAC Deal

(File photo: DeepGreen)

DeepGreen Metals, an EV battery metals maker, said on Thursday that it will be acquired by blank-check firm Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corp in a $2.9 billion deal.The deal will consist of a $330 million private investment from investors along with Allseas, adding to the list of existing strategic investors such as Maersk Supply Service and Glencore.Vancouver-based DeepGreen intends to produce metals from polymettalic rocks, found in deep oceans, for use in batteries…

25 Jan 2021

ABS Grants AIP for CMI's Deepsea Mining System

Matt Tremblay, SVP, Global Offshore, ABS

In what has been described as an industry first, maritime and offshore classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has awarded China Merchants Industry (CMI) Approval in Principle (AIP) for its deep-sea mining system design.The AIP follows the publication of the ABS Guide for Subsea Mining in October 2020 and is the first to be issued that conforms to the new Guide, ABS said.CMI’s design focuses on retrieving cobalt-rich ferromanganese crust deposits attached to seamounts.

04 Nov 2020

ABS Publishes Subsea Mining Guide

© railwayfx / Adobe Stock

ABS has published the Guide for Subsea Mining, detailing class requirements for the design, construction, installation and survey of mobile offshore mining units.The publication, which ABS is calling an industry-first, comes as global interest in resources on the seafloor grows to support the emerging low carbon economy.“The world demand for metals required for new forms of transportation and electrical storage is increasing. Metals such as copper, cobalt, nickel and manganese exist on land, but are increasingly difficult to extract sustainably.

19 Aug 2020

Subsea Mining: The Race is On, But Effects are Unclear

Manganese nodules on the Atlantic Ocean floor off the southeastern United States, discovered in 2019 during the Deep Sea Ventures pilot test. (Photo: NOAA)

Mining the ocean floor for submerged minerals is a little-known, experimental industry. But soon it will take place on the deep seabed, which belongs to everyone, according to international law.Seabed mining for valuable materials like copper, zinc and lithium already takes place within countries’ marine territories. As soon as 2025, larger projects could start in international waters – areas more than 200 nautical miles from shore, beyond national jurisdictions.We study ocean policy…

23 Jun 2020

Deep Sea Mining Could Destroy Undiscovered Species, Says Ocean Panel

© Alex / Adobe Stock

Mining on the sea floor should not begin before a full assessment of likely environmental impacts can be made, a report commissioned by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) said on Wednesday.Environmentalists including Britain's David Attenborough have called for a ban on deep-seabed mining that would extract resources including copper, cobalt, nickel, zinc, lithium, and rare earth elements from nodules on the ocean floor.The International Seabed Authority (ISA), a U.N.

03 Jun 2020

Indonesia Processing Requests for Deep-sea Mining Waste Disposal

© Alex / Adobe Stock

Indonesian authorities are considering two companies’ requests to dispose mining waste into the ocean, a senior government official said on Sunday, at a time of heightened sensitivity about the environmental impact of mining.The requests come as mining waste management is increasingly scrutinized after a nickel plant in neighboring Papua New Guinea spilled red mud into the sea last year due to an operational failure.Indonesia was a major nickel ore exporter until last year, before…

20 May 2019

Debmarine to Build $468mln New Vessel

Namibia marine diamond mining company, Debmarine Namibia announced that its Board of Directors have approved the construction of the world’s first ever custom-built diamond recovery vessel.The new vessel is expected to cost US$468 million and represents the largest ever single investment in the marine diamond industry, said a press release from the marine diamond exploration 50/50 joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group.The ship will become the seventh vessel in the Debmarine Namibia fleet and is scheduled to commence operations in 2022. On completion, the vessel is expected to add 500,000 carats annually to Debmarine Namibia’s production…

19 Aug 2019

NPD in New Search for Minerals

For the next month, Jan Stenløkk will trade his office in Stavanger for the vessel "M/V Seabed Constructor" in the Norwegian Sea.On this voyage, the geologist will continue the task of mapping seabed minerals for the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate on behalf of the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy – which is responsible for managing the minerals."The voyage will go to the volcanic Mohns Ridge between Jan Mayen and Bjørnøya, a sea area that is still virtually unexplored. It’s exciting that the NPD has been given the task of exploring the geology and the deposits, as well as performing the mapping. We are now at the very beginning of work that could have a significant impact on Norwegian resources and industry in the future…

10 Dec 2019

Will 2020 be the year for Subsea Mining?

Solwara 1 project seabed mining tools. Courtesy Nautilus Minerals.

Anyone who has been around the Offshore Oil and Gas or the Marine industries for long has heard of plans for mining various minerals located on or just below the seafloor. In fact, when Howard Hughes built the Glomar Explorer in 1972, the cover story for its true mission – recovering a Soviet submarine - was that the rig would be used to mine manganese nodules from the deep ocean floor. This cover story was so effective that it had the unintended consequence of stirring great interest in ocean mining among offshore companies and the general public.In the years since…