- The companies are focused on developing the world’s first digital twin for subsea nodule collection, a core component of a broader Adaptive Management System (AMS) designed to enable sub-sea operations within targeted environmental impact thresholds
- The planned AMS will generate data feeds from environmental and operating sensors, use machine learning to make environmental impact predictions and include an environmental dashboard for monitoring and reporting impacts
- A world-class provider of cloud services and digital solutions to the energy and maritime industries, Kongsberg Digital will adapt and connect its proven technology with The Metals Company’s nodule collection and environmental monitoring and data systems to enable safe and robust deep-sea operations
The Metals Company (Nasdaq: TMC) (the “Company” or “TMC”) today entered into an agreement with Kongsberg Digital, a leading provider of high-technology systems and solutions for the oil and gas, merchant marine, defense and aerospace industries. In advance of TMC’s initial nodule collector drive test in the Atlantic Ocean planned for early next year and followed by full pilot collection system trials in the Pacific Ocean later in 2022, the parties intend to create a digital twin to enable 3D visualization of deep-sea operations in a dynamic dashboard for review by various stakeholders. The digital twin will integrate vessel information from the surface support vessel Hidden Gem with data collected from the pilot nodule collector robot and riser system, as well as data collected by independent scientists aboard a test monitoring vessel.
Once completed and validated, the digital twin will be a core component of TMC’s future Adaptive Management System [Watch Video]. The Company plans to build out its AMS as an iterative and predictive state-of-the-art system that will use environmental and operational data to enable TMC to keep its deep-sea activities within ecological thresholds expected to be set by the International Seabed Authority. The AMS will draw on expert opinion and machine learning to improve operational efficiencies and reduce the uncertainty of the environmental impact over time.
Gerard Barron, Chairman and CEO of The Metals Company, said: “Polymetallic nodules sit on the seafloor in complete darkness at 4-km depths but we plan to collect them in clear sight and in a manner that is accessible and accountable to the regulator and stakeholders from anywhere in the world. The Digital Twin will give us visibility — that’s the first critical step. From there, we will keep gathering data, learning, predicting, and adapting our operations with environmental protection and operational efficiency in mind. This is a mission-critical system for us, and we could not have chosen a better, more experienced partner than Kongsberg Digital.”
“We are excited to partner with TMC in what will be the world’s first operational and environmental industrial work surface for deep-sea polymetallic nodule collection,” said Hege Skryseth, President of Kongsberg Digital and EVP KONGSBERG. “With the successful rollout of Kongsberg Digital’s ‘Kognitwin’ in the energy industry, we are delighted to now be working with TMC to deliver a digital twin solution designed to help simulate and manage the deep-sea nodule collection process within regulatory requirements. Collaborating and innovating to deliver solutions to enable a more sustainable operation for producing metals — that are critical to power economic growth — is an exciting opportunity.”
Upon successful completion of the initial work under the agreement, TMC and Kongsberg Digital may choose to enter into a broader agreement to complete the development of systems and software to support the operation of the Digital Twin.
Through its strategic partnership with Allseas, TMC is developing a deep-sea nodule collection system to responsibly recover polymetallic nodules from the seafloor and transfer them to the surface for transportation to an onshore processing plant. Across two contract areas held by its subsidiaries, the Company has identified 1.6 billion tonnes of nodules, containing in situ resources of nickel, cobalt, copper and manganese equivalent to the requirements of 280 million electric vehicles – about the size of the entire US passenger vehicle fleet.
About The Metals Company
The Metals Company is an explorer of lower-impact battery metals from seafloor polymetallic nodules, on a dual mission: (1) supply metals for the clean energy transition with the least possible negative environmental and social impact and (2) accelerate the transition to a circular metal economy. The company through its subsidiaries holds exploration and commercial rights to three polymetallic nodule contract areas in the Clarion Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean regulated by the International Seabed Authority and sponsored by the governments of Nauru, Kiribati and the Kingdom of Tonga. More information about The Metals Company is available at www.metals.co.
About Kongsberg Digital
Kongsberg Digital, a subsidiary of KONGSBERG, is a provider of next-generation software and digital solutions, to customers within maritime, oil and gas, and renewables and utilities. The company consists of more than 500 software experts with leading competence within the internet of things, smart data, artificial intelligence, maritime simulation, automation and autonomous operations. Kongsberg Digital is the group-wide center of digital expertise for the KONGSBERG group.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements made in this press release are not historical facts but are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements generally are accompanied by words such as “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect,” “should,” “would,” “plan,” “predict,” “potential,” “seem,” “seek,” “future,” “outlook” and similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, without limitation, statements regarding the development, use and accuracy of any technology developed by TMC and its partners, agents and/or service providers to support its operations. These forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Most of these factors are outside TMC’s control and are difficult to predict. Factors that may cause such differences include, but are not limited to: regulatory uncertainties and the impact of government regulation and political instability on TMC’s resource activities; changes to any of the laws, rules, regulations or policies to which TMC is subject; the impact of extensive and costly environmental requirements on TMC’s operations; environmental liabilities; the impact of polymetallic nodule collection on biodiversity in the Clarion Clipperton Zone and recovery rates of impacted ecosystems; TMC’s ability to develop minerals in sufficient grade or quantities to justify commercial operations; the lack of development of seafloor polymetallic nodule deposit; uncertainty in the estimates for mineral resource calculations from certain contract areas and for the grade and quality of polymetallic nodule deposits; risks associated with natural hazards; uncertainty with respect to the specialized treatment and processing of polymetallic nodules that TMC may recover; risks associated with collective, development and processing operations; fluctuations in transportation costs; testing and manufacturing of equipment, including software and hardware needed to support the collection, transport and processing of nodules, including the Digital Twin and the AMS; risks associated with TMC’s limited operating history; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; risks associated with TMC’s intellectual property and the validity, use and ownership of any new technology or intellectual property subsisting therein; and other risks and uncertainties indicated from time to time in the prospectus, dated and filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on October 22, 2021, including those under “Risk Factors” therein, and in TMC’s other future filings with the SEC. TMC cautions that the foregoing list of factors is not exclusive. TMC cautions readers not to place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. TMC does not undertake or accept any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect any change in its expectations or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which any such statement is based except as required by law.
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