Seafloor mining fever drives $2.9 billion merger
The World Bank estimates a 1,000% increase in battery metals will be needed by 2050, and cites research in Nature warning that “the world cannot tackle climate change without adequate supply of raw materials to manufacture clean technologies.”
Given that it can take 10 to 20 years to get a new mine permitted and in production, the world appears headed for a “peak metals” crunch, which may explain the sudden minerals rush in the Pacific Ocean.
A new international deep ocean mining code, delayed by the pandemic, is now expected to be in place by 2023, and several companies that have been in the exploration stage, including heavyweights like Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), are now hoping to start commercial harvesting as early as 2024.
One of these companies is Vancouver’s DeepGreen Metals, which is merging with Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corp. (NYSE:SOAC), a special-purpose acquisitions company, in a deal valued at $2.9 billion. The new company will be called The Metals Co.