DeepGreen has formalized partnerships with leading scientific research institutions and internationally-renowned universities in a significant investment into its ongoing deep-sea discovery program to characterize the potential impacts of lifting polymetallic nodules up from the bottom of the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ) of the Pacific Ocean.
The program will include dozens of discrete studies of pelagic and benthic biology, bathymetry and ecosystem function of the CCZ as part of DeepGreen’s environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) for its proposed polymetallic nodule collection project.
The data collected will enable informed decision-making and regulatory development in advance of the commencement of a new resource industry which has the potential to provide billions of tonnes of the critical battery metals required for society’s transition to clean energy.
The participation of independent scientific institutions in DeepGreen’s ESIA underscores the company’s commitment to transparency during the exploration phase of an industry that some NGOs oppose because there is insufficient information about the deep sea to make informed decisions about impacts.
“This is a collaboration of the best minds in ocean science coming together to answer many important questions about deep-sea ecosystem function and connectivity throughout the water column. The program will enable DeepGreen to put forward a rigorous, peer-reviewed environmental impact statement to the International Seabed Authority, setting a high bar for this new industry.”DeepGreen Chief Ocean Scientist, Dr. Greg Stone.
One of the primary concerns that researchers will address is the impact of sediment plumes on deep-ocean fauna throughout the water column, and at varying spatial and temporal scales.
“We are pleased to take part in this important, wide-reaching and collaborative effort to study the impacts of collecting polymetallic nodules. We are also encouraged by DeepGreen’s proactive approach, desire to support high-quality science and commitment to make all of our findings publicly available.”Dr. Daniel Jones from the UK National Oceanography Centre
The global team of environmental scientists will work to deliver a state-of-the-art baseline biological survey of DeepGreen’s NORI exploration area to meet or exceed international regulatory requirements under the International Seabed Authority (ISA), established by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
DeepGreen will use the insights and knowledge gained from the comprehensive survey to inform engineering decisions in order to further develop technologies to collect and uplift polymetallic nodules with as little impact as possible to the ocean.