DeepGreen recently engaged Macquarie Capital and Fearnley Securities to co-lead a USD $150m investment round to finance feasibility studies, planned for completion in 2023. DeepGreen aims to develop a polymetallic nodule harvester and riser system to gather nodules from the seafloor of the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ) in the Pacific, and transport them up to a surface vessel about 4 to 6.5 kilometers above.
DeepGreen's Chairman and CEO, Gerard Barron, stated:
Seafloor polymetallic nodules contain more than enough base metals that the world needs to get to a clean energy economy, and they require no blasting, drilling or digging. Indeed, our life cycle sustainability analysis shows that, with regards to NMC batteries with copper connectors for electric vehicles, ocean nodules generate at least 75% less CO2 when compared to producing these metals from land ores
The companies aims to develop a deep ocean nodule harvesting system that will have minimal impact to the deep sea environment, enabling them to bring clean metals to market.
Operational activities will take place in international waters and will reviewed by a regulatory framework currently being developed through the UN International Seabed Authority (ISA). Therefore, the minerals in the CCZ are the 'common heritage of mankind', and the mandate of the ISA is to regulate mining activities on the deep sea bed while, protecting the ocean environment and the participation of developing nations.