Maersk Supply Service is working with DeepGreen and its subsidiary, NORI, to bring marine knowledge to the development of a method for harvesting small metallic rocks, or ‘polymetallic nodules’, in a sustainable way.

The aim of the offshore work is to better understand the quality and quantity of nodules
present and how to extract them in the most environmentally sound way. Throughout
five marine campaigns over the course of 2018 and 2020, Maersk Supply Service is
supporting the project with two vessels, project management and engineering services.
The first four campaigns are centred around environmental studies and documentation
of the seabed, and the fifth campaign is focused on mineral recovery testing.

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Project Details

CLIENT
Nauru Ocean Resources Inc. (NORI), a subsidiary of DeepGreen Resources

PROJECT TYPE
Environmental studies and nodule recovery planning and evaluation

PROJECT LOCATION
Clarion Clipperton Zone,
Pacific Ocean

PROJECT DURATION
2017 to 2020

OPERATIONS
AUV site surveys – Box coring – Bulk sampling – Biological studies – Metocean & environmental studies – Mineral recovery testing

SAFETY PERFORMANCE
Zero lost time incidents

Recovery method with both
environmental & societal benefits

As opposed to terrestrial mining, deep sea mineral harvesting eliminates the risk of social displacement and deforestation. DeepGreen’s patented zero-waste processing technology will allow it to produce high quality nickel, copper, cobalt and manganese products. Silica, iron and nitrate liquid products can be used by the cement and fertiliser industries.

Essential metals for clean
technology & batteries

Metals extracted from the polymetallic nodules in the Clarion Clipperton Zone are essential to building sustainable technologies and infrastructure necessary to raise the living standard of the growing global population. The metals are needed to produce electric car batteries, wind turbine, solar power and smartphones.

Project management
& engineering

In addition to the vessel services, Maersk Supply Service is project managing the offshore campaigns, which includes both planning, the required procurement, interface management with sub-contractors, regulatory bodies and any other third parties. We also provide HSEQ coordination, cost control, document control, and offshore operational support.

CAMPAIGN 1

  • AUV survey

  • Box core sampling

CAMPAIGN 2

  • Oceanographic moorings

  • Box coring

  • Bulk sampling

CAMPAIGN 3

  • Biological studies

  • Oceanographic moorings

  • Seasonal studies

CAMPAIGN 4

  • Retrieve oceanographic data

  • Environmental baseline

CAMPAIGN 5

  • Biological studies

  • Oceanographic moorings

  • Prototype nodule harvester testing

  • Site survey

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