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Metals Company and SGS produce world’s first nickel sulphate from seafloor polymetallic nodules

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Following the successful nickel sulphate production, SGS continues testing to produce what TMC believes will be the world’s first cobalt sulphate from polymetallic nodules.

“The production of the world’s first nickel sulphate from deep-seafloor nodules is an important milestone, confirming that our custom flowsheet configuration can be deployed to process these remarkable rocks into final products suitable for use in batteries,” said TMC head of onshore development Jeffrey Donald.

“The data collected will inform further engineering decisions to move this towards commercial scale, and TMC continues to expect that initial production will begin with a capital-light approach by leveraging the existing processing facilities of strategic partners.”

TMC collected nodules from the Nori project in the Pacific Ocean between Mexico and Hawaii in 2022. It returned to the site late last year to examine the effects of disturbing the seafloor – plume dynamics, concentration, and dispersal. The company reported that the observed data indicated the plume is low-lying, and the mud is influence by gravity and the contours of the seafloor rather than the ocean currents.

TMC hopes to begin commercial mining by late-2025.

Seafloor mining is not without its detractors. Environmental groups and non-governmental organizations are staunchly opposed. Some countries, including the United States, have okayed seafloor mining in their waters as the need for critical minerals continues to heat up.


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