Allseas drillship to be converted for mining work

Allseas' drillship Hidden Gem undergoing conversion into a subsea mining vessel at Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam (Photo: American Bureau of Shipping)

A former drillship owned by Switzerland-based Allseas is undergoing conversion work that will enable it to operate as a subsea mining vessel.

The 228-metre Hidden Gem is being 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 for building electric vehicle batteries and renewable energy technologies.

Allseas is developing the project entirely to its own, unique specifications, including a wholly self-designed subsea vertical transport system, a subsea collection vehicle, and a surface nodule handling and storage system. The vessel will become the first to be classed as a subsea mining vessel by ABS.

The conversion of Hidden Gem is being carried out at the facilities of Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam. Allseas has also  partnered with The Metals Company for the project.

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