The Metals Company, an explorer of lower-impact battery metals from seafloor polymetallic nodules, announced Tuesday it has completed initial deep-water trials of the polymetallic nodule collector vehicle in the Atlantic Ocean.
Mining international waters is in the spotlight as companies and countries are looking at minerals concentrated on the ocean floor that can be used in batteries for smart phones and electric vehicles. Last year, TMC said the nodule resource is now estimated at four megatons (Mt) measured, 341Mt indicated and 11Mt inferred mineral resources.
The Vancouver-based company said engineers successfully lowered the Allseas-designed collector vehicle to the seafloor at depths of 2,470 meters, marking the first time the vehicle had been subjected to ultra-deep-water temperatures and pressures. The company said engineers then subjected the vehicle to extensive testing of its various pumps and critical mobility functions, driving 1,018 meters across the seafloor.