- Australia’s national science agency — The Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) — will lead a consortium of academic research institutes to formulate a science-based framework to assist TMC in the development of an environmental management and monitoring plan for proposed polymetallic nodule collection operations in the Clarion Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean
- The consortium will draw upon TMC’s extensive environmental baseline data to identify appropriate indicators and tolerance limits to enable the Company to minimize impacts in its deep-sea operating environment
- CSIRO will be joined by researchers from Museums Victoria, Griffith University, and the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia, as well as the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in New Zealand
- The researchers bring an established track record of delivering integrated frameworks for the assessment of cumulative impacts and risk and for the management and monitoring of marine ecosystems
NEW YORK, July 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Metals Company (Nasdaq: TMC) (the “Company” or “TMC”) today announced that its Australian subsidiary, The Metals Company Australia Pty Ltd., has entered into a research funding agreement with a consortium of institutions led by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to create a framework for the development of an ecosystem-based management and monitoring plan (EMMP) for its proposed deep-sea polymetallic nodule collection operations in the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ) of the Pacific Ocean.
The CSIRO-led consortium, which includes global leaders in the development and application of effective EMMPs in a diversity of marine areas, will leverage TMC’s extensive environmental baseline data — acquired in the Company’s NORI project area in the CCZ — to help develop appropriate indicators and tolerance limits to create safe parameters for collecting seafloor nodules. The work will form the scientific foundation of TMC’s future Adaptive Management System (AMS), a state-of-the-art predictive system that will use environmental and operational data to enable the Company to mitigate operational impacts in the deep-sea environment as much as possible. A core component of this system will be the Company’s Digital Twin, which is expected to provide robust scenario testing of seafloor mine plans, monitoring of nodule collection operations and a dynamic dashboard for review by stakeholders.
Gerard Barron, Chairman and CEO of The Metals Company, said: “Last year our subsidiary, NORI, completed environmental baseline studies in partnership with leading marine research institutions. We’ve now got one of the world’s most extensive deep-sea datasets to hand over to the CSIRO-led consortium, experts with the practical experience we need to develop a scientifically robust framework for a marine ecosystem-based management program for NORI-D. I’m thrilled that these trusted and independent institutions have agreed to undertake this research, setting a high bar for future work in this industry.”
The Metals Company has invested significant resources in its deep-sea environmental baseline program, and in November 2021 the Company entered into an agreement with Kongsberg Digital to develop a Digital Twin. As TMC prepares for pilot nodule collector system trials in the CCZ later this year, the CSIRO-led research project will propel the development of a rigorous management plan focussed on the cumulative impacts of collecting nodules at a regional scale within the CCZ to enable TMC to operate within safe ecological limits. The Company expects to employ the science-based framework developed by the CSIRO-led consortium in the Adaptive Management System — which will also draw on expert opinion and machine learning to improve operational efficiencies and reduce the uncertainty of environmental impacts over time — ahead of planned commercial operations expected to commence in 2024.
About The Metals Company
The Metals Company is an explorer of lower-impact battery metals from seafloor polymetallic nodules, on a dual mission: (1) supply metals for the clean energy transition with the least possible negative environmental and social impact and (2) accelerate the transition to a circular metal economy. The company through its subsidiaries holds exploration and commercial rights to three polymetallic nodule contract areas in the Clarion Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean regulated by the International Seabed Authority and sponsored by the governments of Nauru, Kiribati and the Kingdom of Tonga. More information about The Metals Company is available at www.metals.co.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements made in this press release are not historical facts but are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements generally are accompanied by words such as “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect,” “should,” “would,” “plan,” “predict,” “potential,” “seem,” “seek,” “future,” “outlook” and similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, without limitation, statements regarding the development and use of an ecosystem-based management and monitoring plan (EMMP) as well as the design, use and accuracy of any technology developed by TMC and its partners, agents and/or service providers to support its operations. These forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Most of these factors are outside TMC’s control and are difficult to predict. Factors that may cause such differences include, but are not limited to: regulatory uncertainties and the impact of government regulation and political instability on TMC’s resource activities; changes to any of the laws, rules, regulations or policies to which TMC is subject; the impact of extensive and costly environmental requirements on TMC’s operations; environmental liabilities; the impact of polymetallic nodule collection on biodiversity in the Clarion Clipperton Zone and recovery rates of impacted ecosystems; TMC’s ability to develop minerals in sufficient grade or quantities to justify commercial operations; the lack of development of seafloor polymetallic nodule deposit; uncertainty in the estimates for mineral resource calculations from certain contract areas and for the grade and quality of polymetallic nodule deposits; risks associated with natural hazards; uncertainty with respect to the specialized treatment and processing of polymetallic nodules that TMC may recover; risks associated with collection, development and processing polymetallic nodules; risks associated with TMC’s limited operating history; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; risks associated with TMC’s intellectual property and the validity, use and ownership of any new technology or intellectual property subsisting therein; and other risks and uncertainties indicated from time to time in the Company’s Form 10K, dated and filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 25, 2022 , including those under “Risk Factors” therein, and in TMC’s other future filings with the SEC. TMC cautions that the foregoing list of factors is not exclusive. TMC cautions readers not to place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. TMC does not undertake or accept any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect any change in its expectations or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which any such statement is based except as required by law.