Seafloor mining hopeful DeepGreen to merge with ESG-minded SPAC

Seafloor mining hopeful DeepGreen to merge with ESG-minded SPAC
Mining News Pro - DeepGreen, a Canadian developer of battery metals from seafloor polymetallic nodules in the Pacific Ocean, has announced its planned listing through a merger with NYSE-listed Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corp (SOAC).

SOAC is a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), focused on ESG, energy and metals.

The transaction includes a fully committed, $330-million private investment in public equity (PIPE) financing at $10 a share, with an international consortium of strategic and institutional investors, including Allseas. Existing strategic investors include Maersk Supply Service and Glencore.

DeepGreen shareholders will own 76% of the resulting company, with SPAC holding 12% and PIPE investors 11%.

Following the merger, the combined entity will be renamed The Metals Company (TMC), which has an ambition to become the world’s largest developer and producer of electric vehicle (EV) battery metals through a “responsible approach with the lowest ESG impact and low product cost”.

“Sourcing battery metals is the biggest hurdle facing the clean energy transition, and the pipeline of new mining projects on land is insufficient to meet rising demand,” said SOAC CEO Scott Leonard.

“We looked at over 100 companies, many of them in the EV and renewable energy space. DeepGreen stands above the rest. It offers a real, scalable solution to the raw materials problem, at a low production cost and with a significant reduction in the ESG footprint of metals. Assuming full-scale production, we expect The Metals Company to be among the lowest cost nickel producers in the world.”

The estimated resource on the seafloor in the exploration contract areas held by DeepGreen’s subsidiaries is sufficient for 280-million EVs – a quarter of the global passenger car fleet. The development of this resource offers an abundant, low-cost supply of critical raw materials for EV batteries and wiring including nickel, cobalt, copper and manganese, with a lower lifecycle ESG impact than conventional mining.

"The reality is that the clean energy transition is not possible without taking billions of tons of metal from the planet. Seafloor nodules offer a way to dramatically reduce the environmental bill of this extraction. We are getting into this industry with a deep commitment to ocean health and a clear stop date in mind. The plan is simple: produce better metals to supply the EV transition, while building up enough metal stock to stop extracting from the planet and enable society to live off recycled metals,” said DeepGreen chairperson and CEO Gerard Barron.

TMC will have cash reserves of $570-million to lean on until commercial battery metals production starts in 2024.

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