Pacific seafloor explorer starts 'test' mining

PACIFIC seafloor explorer The Metals Company says it is advancing its project to eventually mine from the bottom of the ocean.
Pacific seafloor explorer starts 'test' mining Pacific seafloor explorer starts 'test' mining Pacific seafloor explorer starts 'test' mining Pacific seafloor explorer starts 'test' mining Pacific seafloor explorer starts 'test' mining

Gerard Barron

Staff Reporter

TMC, previously known as DeepGreen, reported a third quarter net loss of $27.9 million, or $0.12 per share, compared to TMC's net loss of $36.6 million, or $0.18 per share, for the same quarter a year earlier.
The third quarter net loss included exploration and evaluation expenses of $22.7 million and TMC had total cash on hand of $66.9 million as at September 30.
TMC says cash will be sufficient to fund operations for at least the next 12 months, past the July 2023 date targeted by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) as the date for the final adoption of the exploitation regulations for the industry.
The ISA Council is expected to meet in March and July next year, along with inter-sessional working groups in order to complete their drafting of the exploitation regulations.
Pacific island nations, including France, have objected to the development of seafloor mining projects.
On November 14, TMC announced it had concluded the first integrated pilot system seafloor test in the Clarion Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean since the 1970s.
"During the deepsea trials, engineers drove the pilot collector vehicle across over 80km of the seafloor, collecting about 4500t of nodules and bringing more than 3000t up a 4.3km riser system to the surface production vessel, Hidden Gem.
"The Allseas-designed pilot nodule collection system — which will be scaled to include additional collector heads and a wider diameter riser pipe in preparation for (subsidiary) NORI's Project Zero - achieved all pilot production milestones and reached a sustained production rate of 86.4t per hour
"Conducted across a small test area in NORI-D, collection system trials and ongoing environmental impact monitoring are part of the ISA's regulatory and permitting process and the extensive amount of data gathered will inform TMC subsidiary NORI's application to the ISA for an exploitation contract," TMC said.
TMC says it believes the Clarion area has the potential to be the planet's largest deposit of battery metals.
At the time of reporting, shares in TMC gained 8% to $0.94, giving the firm a market capitalisation of $248 million.
TMC chairman and CEO Gerard Barron said: "We believe in making decisions based on data and evidence, not speculation and sentiment. This pilot collection system trial and monitoring campaign is the single most important milestone in de-risking the NORI-D project and establishing actual data on the environmental impact profile of potential nodule collection operations and improvements we can make."