Offshore vessel Maersk Launcher has left San Diego port for its first deep-sea mineral offshore study with DeepGreen Metals.
Maersk Supply Service (MSS) began working with Canada’s DeepGreen Metals to develop a method to harvest small metallic rocks, or polymetallic nodules, in a sustainable way. The nodules contain copper, cobalt, manganese and nickel, which are valuable for electronics and batteries for renewable technologies.
MSS’s offshore work targets the Clarion Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean at a water depth of 4,500 metres, with five voyages joined for 2018 and 2019.
The first four are centred around environmental studies and documentation of the seabed.
The overall aim is to better understand the quality and quantity of nodules and how to best extract them in a sustainable way.
The work will occur under the regulation of the United Nations International Seabed Authority.
MSS will contribute two vessels and US$25 million, which will be converted to DeepGreen shares.
DeepGreen Metal’s subsidiary Nauru Ocean Research Inc (NORI) will carry out scientific and resource surveys within a 75,000-square-kilometre area.