International Conference Urges Support for Religious Freedom and Human Rights

“Religious freedom is a hallmark of an open society”


International Conference Urges Support for Religious Freedom and Human Rights

Religious freedom is a hallmark of an open society”

The greatest difference between open, free societies and authoritarian regimes is respect for human rights and religious freedom, speakers told the Conference of Hope for Universal Human Rights and Religious Freedom, sponsored by The Washington Times Foundation and Think Tank 2022.

The conference, held Nov. 12 in South Korea and livestreamed to millions of viewers globally, concluded with a call to action for people worldwide to sign a Declaration on the Universal Value of Religious Freedom. “We call upon all people throughout the world to stand firmly against all forms of intolerance, prejudice, slander, and hate toward believers of our world’s religions,” says the statement.

“When we speak of human rights, the most basic, fundamental right would be religious freedom,” said Dr. Yun Young Ho, Chairman of the Steering Committee for Think Tank 2022. This right is well-known, he said, noting that freedom of religion was included in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly.

At a time when many religious groups face persecution, intolerance, discrimination, and violence in many countries, this is “a critical moment in which we must unite, we face the truth, and we move forward courageously based on the principles expressed in the Declaration on the Universal Value of Religious Freedom,” said Conference of Hope co-host Thomas P. McDevitt, Chairman of The Washington Times and board member of The Washington Times Foundation.

Speakers pointed to persecution of religious groups including Muslim Uyghurs, Tibetan Buddhists, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Ahmadis, Bahais, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Yazidis, Falun Gong, and, more recently, the Family Federation of World Peace and Unification, formerly the Unification Church, in Japan.

The Chinese Communist Party is “at war with all faiths,” said Ambassador Sam Brownback, former US senator who served as Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom (2018-2021).

In contrast, “religious freedom is a hallmark of an open society in a democracy” and democracies “must stand for religious freedom for everybody, everywhere, all the time,” he said.

“Why is evil so influential in today’s world? Because it has many allies. Three siblings are the most spread and efficient: Indifference, ignorance and fear (when we don´t care, when we do not know, or when we are scared to say or do something),” said Hon. Jan Figel, First Special Envoy for the Promotion of Freedom of Religion, European Union (2016-2019). “To overcome these siblings, we must invest more into active engagement, lifelong education, and civil courage. Then a century of hope may come, and a culture of human dignity may prevail over extreme violence, aggressive wars and a century of genocides.”

Several speakers addressed the persecution of the Family Federation in Japan that has intensified since the tragic and senseless assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Paris-based CAP Freedom of Conscience, a respected UN NGO, filed a formal complaint with the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva, saying that Japan’s “national tragedy” has been turned “into a bizarre narrative that makes the alleged assassin into a victim.”

“Religious liberty has been defined by the Holy See as the most violated human right in the 21st century,” said Mr. Massimo Introvigne, Founder and Managing Director, Center for Studies on New Religions in Italy. “The events in Japan prove that the use of the word ‘cult’ to discriminate against and persecute peaceful religious movements has now reached intolerable levels and should be stopped. Those who do not publicly reject and denounce the campaigns against ‘cults’ are not real friends of religious freedom.”

“After World War II, the Soviet Union was aggressively working to bring Japan into the Communist sphere of influence,” said Hon. Newt Gingrich, US House Speaker (1995-1999). Japanese leaders, including Mr. Abe’s grandfather Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, met with Rev. Sun Myung Moon during the Cold War, he said, and “a natural relationship formed between the victory-over-communism movement, Mr. Kishi and many members of the Diet, especially the Liberal Democratic Party.”

Today, “we are seeing that many in the [Japanese] media are trying to dissolve the movement in Japan without any legal due process,” Mr. Gingrich said.

“We are not surprised that so many current and former members of the Liberal Democratic Party and other parties in Japan understood that work with the Universal Peace Federation, co-founded by Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, was so important and collaborated with it,” said Pastor Paula White-Cain, former advisor to US President Donald Trump and director of the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative. She added, “it is good for Japan, good for the Republic of Korea and for America and good for peace in Northeast Asia and the world.”

Former BBC Correspondent Humphrey Hawksley, who spoke live from London, recalled how the Family Federation and other NGOs helped him lead a BBC crew into North Korea. “The work the church did in the 1990s helped bring about a peace deal that took the prospect of war off the table on the Korean Peninsula, and it has been doing similar work since,” he said.

Cardinal Kelvin Felix, Archbishop emeritus of Castries, Saint Lucia, recalled meeting Japanese volunteers with the Women’s Federation for World Peace in the island nation of Dominica. “For 26 years, they have been conducting art classes at our Teachers’ Training College and in many schools around the country,” while also holding programs to strengthen family unions,” he said.

The Family Federation has had 4,300 of its members in Japan kidnapped and held in forced confinement by highly paid professional “faith breakers” during the last 45 years, said Norishige Kondo, an attorney in Japan who has been serving as legal counsel to the Association of Victims of Kidnappings, Forced Confinement and Conversions. Kidnapped victims have also suffered sexual assault, violence, and threats, he said. In one case, a medical doctor—who had critically ill patients under his care—was held for more than a year by kidnappers. Another man, Toro Goto, was held for more than 12 years. “Mr. Goto was able to maintain his faith,” Mr. Kondo added, “but 70 to 80 percent of the victims of forced conversions and kidnappings lose their faith due to these inhuman and illegal detentions.”

“Religious freedom has long been called the first freedom, like the famed ‘canary in the mine,’ the violation of which warns us of impending danger elsewhere,” said Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow at Cato Institute, who specializes in foreign policy and civil liberty.

A group called Open Doors lists 50 of the top persecutors of Christians and other faiths, starting with Afghanistan’s Taliban and North Korea’s regime, said Mr. Bandow. “Governments which refuse to protect us as we seek God—or otherwise address the transcendent—are unlikely to protect us as we exercise our conscience in other ways,” he added, noting that eroding of religious freedom leads to denials of free speech, debate, and elections, and breeds terrible conflicts, including terrorism and genocide.

Prof. W. Cole Durham Jr., who directs the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School, recalled how leaders and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) endured decades of persecution, brutal rejection, and bloodshed. Today, the LDS Church is a major denomination, and its members are widely accepted. “Standing up under persecution builds a kind of strength, which is its own reward,” he said. Moreover, surviving persecution leads to “an intensified appreciation of the practical importance of the freedom of religion” and “empathy for the suffering of others,” he said.

The Washington Times Foundation, founded in 1984 in Washington, D.C., hosts numerous programs, including its monthly webcast “The Washington Brief,” to gather expert commentary on issues relating to peace and security in the world. Think Tank 2022, a project of the Universal Peace Federation, regularly mobilizes its worldwide network to promote dialogue, reconciliation and peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The Washington Times Foundation and Think Tank 2022 plan to continue sponsoring the Conference of Hope programs to promote peace and security globally—and especially on the Korean Peninsula and the Pacific Rim.

Related links:


Media Contacts:

●        UNITED STATES, Mr. Larry Moffitt, Vice President and Executive Director, The Washington Times Foundation

●        Dr. William Selig, Communications Director, Universal Peace Federation

●        AFRICA, Mr. Mamadou Gaye

●        ASIA PACIFIC, Dr. Robert Kittel

●        CANADA, Mr. Pierre Beauregard

●        EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST, Mr. Peter Zoehrer


●        SOUTH AMERICA, Dr. Simao Feraboli

Larry Moffitt
The Washington Times Foundation

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8696276

Neeyamo Named as a Potential Leader in 2022 Fosway 9-Grid™ for Cloud HR

The Fosway 9-Grid™ for Cloud HR is a five-dimensional market analysis model that assists buyers in making informed choices about HR Technology providers in the European Cloud HR market.

LOS GATOS, Calif., Nov. 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Neeyamo, a market leader in providing global payroll and global work solutions, has been named a Potential Leader in the 2022 Fosway 9-Grid™ for Cloud HR.

Fosway Group is Europe’s leading HR industry analyst focused on Next Gen HR, Talent, and Learning, and analyzing the realities of the market to provide insights on the future of work.

The Fosway 9-Grid™ for Cloud HR is a five-dimensional market analysis model that assists buyers in making informed choices about HR Technology providers in the European Cloud HR market. In addition, it helps evaluate current providers and stay up to date on the latest market developments.

The 9-Grid™ includes nine zones – Potential Leader, Strategic Challenger, Strategic Leader, Potential Challenger, Core Challenger, Core Leader, Potential Performer, Solid Performer, and Strong Performer. This year’s report includes 37 cloud HCM vendors based on potential, performance, presence, the total cost of ownership, and future trajectory.

Samuel Isaac, Senior Vice President, Strategy at Neeyamo, said, “Global HR technology market is slowly getting clouded with customers having to struggle between perception and reality. Neeyamo has been at the forefront of disrupting the global HR & payroll tech landscape, leveraging cutting-edge technology, global functional knowledge, and innovation. Our solution has a single native global engine at its core, making all the difference. We are proud to set the trend and demonstrate to the world that what was perceived impossible can be done. Amongst others, our positioning as a Potential Leader in cloud HR is a testament to our commitment to continuously innovate and execute strategies designed towards the future of work.”

“The financial well-being of employees is becoming a priority for HR teams as the cost of living crisis impacts organizations across all geographies,” said David Wilson, CEO, Fosway Group. “This has put the spotlight on payroll and the need for innovative payroll services at scale, something that Neeyamo continues to deliver as it consolidates its position as Potential Leader in the 2022 Fosway 9-Grid™ for Cloud HR.”

About Neeyamo

Neeyamo is a leading technology-enabled global payroll and EOR solutions provider for multinational and micro-multinational corporations worldwide. With an extensive team of professionals serving clients across 190+ countries, Neeyamo leverages its unique service-based model and functionality-rich, next-generation HR & payroll products portfolio to help organizations enable agile and scalable business. To know more, visit

About Fosway Group

Fosway Group is Europe’s #1 HR Industry Analyst. The Fosway 9-Grid™ provides a unique assessment of the principal learning and talent supply options available to organizations in EMEA. The analysis is based on extensive independent research and insights from the Fosway’s Corporate Research Network of over 250 customer organizations.

Visit the Fosway website at for more information on Fosway Group’s 9-Grid™.

Contact Information:
Anika Panwar
Head of Corporate Communications
+(91) 9176446649

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GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8695533

Government of St Kitts and Nevis does NOT accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment for its Citizenship by Investment programme

Basseterre, Nov. 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The government of St Kitts and Nevis, along with the Citizenship by Investment Unit of the country, have refuted claims that investors interested in gaining citizenship to the country can pay using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

The St Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment programme is the oldest in the world, having been established in 1984 – it has been providing investors from across the globe with one of the quickest, easiest, and most affordable routes to second citizenship.

Underpinned by a robust multi-layered due diligence process undertaken by international security firms from the USA and the UK, investors need to go through a formal application process consisting of eight main steps, which include:

  • Step 1: Pre-approval by a verified St Kitts and Nevis government agent and preparation of the application
  • Step 2: Submission of the citizenship application
  • Step 3: Application processing by the Citizenship by Investment Unit and internal and external due diligence checks
  • Step 4: Approval in principle letter issued
  • Step 5: Contribution to either the Sustainable Growth Fund or pre-approved real estate
  • Step 6: Bank clearance of source of funds
  • Step 7: Certificate of Registration issued
  • Step 8: Citizen can apply for a St Kitts and Nevis passport

Throughout the whole process, an investor will engage with an approved government agent who will facilitate the application and any payments will be made via registered banks using fiat money – a government-issued currency that is not backed by a commodity such as gold. An example would be the United States Dollar, Euro or Chinese Yuan.

Investors cannot make payments to a government-approved agent or the Citizenship by Investment Unit by using cryptocurrencies directly. These would need to be liquidated into fiat currency first and an applicant would need to provide a supporting affidavit regarding their source of funds as part of the application process.

St Kitts and Nevis has not yet passed any legislation regarding cryptocurrency. The country is participating in the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) pilot program, which aims to study the utilisation of cryptocurrency as a fiat currency.

The program’s purpose is to provide a safe and secure digital financial system by utilising the advantages of blockchain and is designed to exemplify the viability and functionality of the ECCB’s ability to issue Digital Eastern Caribbean Dollars.

The ECCB is the fiscal authority for the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).

Speaking at the Electronic Cash Conference 2022, which was held on November 12 2022, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr Terrance Drew, expressed that while Bitcoin Cash – another form of cryptocurrency – is used as a method of tender by some businesses in the country, due diligence checks are presently being prioritised by his government ahead of any major decision concerning that cryptocurrency’s official use.

Prime Minister Drew stated that the financial safety and security of citizens is a matter of high priority, and the government, with the guidance of the ECCB, is prepared to explore the possibility of Bitcoin Cash being introduced as legal tender in the local financial space.

The Prime Minister explained that once all the crucial financial safeguards were in place, Bitcoin Cash could become accepted legal tender in St Kitts and Nevis by March 2023.

Benefits of gaining second citizenship to St Kitts and Nevis

Citizenship by Investment is a legal process to grant individuals – and, in some cases, their families – dual citizenship in exchange for a financial contribution to the country’s economy. The initiative permits countries to channel generated funds into developing healthcare, education, infrastructure, and more.

Being a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis offers investors a myriad of benefits including family reunification, global mobility, enhanced security, and increased economic opportunities.

St Kitts and Nevis offers award-winning and internationally acclaimed education institutions like veterinary and medical universities, attracting global-minded professionals. People from all over the world come to St Kitts and Nevis, over a million a year to be exact, because of its booming tourism sector.

In recent years, the nation has seen growing numbers of American visitors. Around 1,000 US citizens currently reside on the islands. Now, with more work-from-home policies than ever, many see the Caribbean as the perfect destination to get away from the bustle of big cities while continuing to be connected when business calls.

In addition to citizenship and global mobility, St Kitts and Nevis offers its citizens who choose to become tax residents a wide variety of insurance services in a tax-friendly environment. For example, the country guarantees financial privacy by not making any information about offshore business owners and top managers public.

Portfolio diversification is the first step in dispersing your investments so that your exposure is not limited to just one type of asset. An investment in property in St Kitts and Nevis would allow you to diversify your investment portfolio and potentially make a return upon selling that your share in real estate after the end of the minimum hold period.

This will also ensure that you retain a certain amount of your wealth outside of your home country. In uncertain political and economic climates, knowing that a portion of your portfolio is free from the grips of a potentially corrupt government can give you tremendous peace of mind.

PR St Kitts and Nevis
Government of St. Kitts and Nevis

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8696223

NASA’s Artemis Marks First-Ever 8K Immersive Live Broadcast

MeetMo and Felix & Paul Studios collaboration allows NASA Artemis 1 launch to be viewed worldwide in 8K live broadcast 360 Camera at NASA

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As NASA begins taking the first step to return humanity to the moon, is inviting the public to ride along, thanks to its innovative video streaming platform.

Beginning at 11:57 p.m. ET Nov. 15, MeetMo in collaboration with Felix & Paul Studios and FlightLine Films will simulcast in 8K & 4K 360° production to Meta Horizon Worlds Venues as well as the Space Explorers Facebook page. Full 360-degree streaming platforms will also be available via 5G in various locations and planetarium domes worldwide. Stay informed by visiting:

This event marks the first time any space launch has been available to view across the globe in ultra-high-resolution 8K Live broadcast. See link to former NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Karen Nyberg:

The Artemis program, a series of ongoing NASA space missions, aims to return humans to the moon for the first time in 50 years.

This unique immersive experience is made possible by Felix & Paul Studios and supported by technologies by and FlightLine Films who will be providing up-close footage from multiple cameras strategically placed around Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The collaboration of the three companies will allow the audience to have the most realistic and immersive viewing experience of this NASA moon launch. As the viewers are transported to the launch pad, they are able to feel the heat of the exhaust and hear the roar of the engines. They take a small step onto the launch pad as NASA begins taking a giant leap that will return mankind to the moon.

“Humanity’s deep space exploration came to an end with the final NASA Apollo mission in December of 1972,” said Michael Mansouri, CEO. “Today, we are developing new content creation and distribution methods that can bring viewers experiences in ways not possible just a few short years ago.”

“Just as TV broadcasts of the ’70s ushered in a new era for home entertainment, today’s digital pioneers are paving new methods for hyper-realistic experiences,” Mansouri added. “We are honored to collaborate with our partners Felix & Paul Studios and FlightLine Films to capture and share this historic event with all of humanity as a never-before-seen immersive experience.”

Through proprietary encoding systems, creates a real-time, cloud-based video collaboration space, delivering the highest quality streaming service available today. That system will power the experience for countless users as they view the NASA Artemis 1 launch in real-time.

“With our easy-to-use feature-rich service, anyone working on any project can quickly capture and share key moments with decision-makers all over the world,” said Johan Romero, chief technology officer. “In this case, it enables real-time assembly and the distribution of content across multiple platforms such as immersive domes or movie theaters, AR/VR devices, social media channels and live broadcasts.”

About is a cloud-based streaming collaboration platform that connects people, devices and ideas in a hyper-secure place easily accessible worldwide. Our technology delivers high-quality video up to 8K resolution at the lowest latency for the most realistic experiences enabling a transformation in how we create and consume content.

For more information about MeetMo, visit

About Felix & Paul Studios

Felix & Paul Studios is an Emmy award-winning creator of immersive entertainment experiences, creating highly engaging, presence-based experiences for the next generation of technology-enabled devices and venues, including the touring life-scale immersive exhibit Space Explorers.

For more information about Felix and Paul Studios, visit

About FlightLine Films

FlightLine Films has decades of experience in aerospace photography, range missile tracking, live broadcasting of sporting events. They were the first to gather 8.5 million concurrent viewers for a live-streaming event with the aerospace program Red Bull Stratos.

For more about FlightLine Films, visit

Contact Information:
Gianna Wolfe

Related Images

Image 1: 360 Camera at NASA

Kandao Obsidian Pro 12K 360° camera

Image 2: NASA Artemis 360 cameras

Kandao Obsidian Pro 12K 360 camera used for the NASA Artemis Launch.

Image 3: Obsidian Pro 12K 360 Camera

Obsidian Pro 12K 360 Camera at NASA L-39 Launch Pad.

Image 4: Flightline Films JLAIR

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GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8695520

Winners in the 19th Annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business Announced

Women-Owned Businesses and Professionals Were Honored at an Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas

Winners named in 19th Stevie Awards for Women in Business program

Top female entrepreneurs, executives, and employees from around the world were named as Stevie Award winners at a ceremony in Las Vegas, NV U.S.A. on Friday, November 11.

FAIRFAX, Va., Nov. 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Shining a spotlight on women executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations run by women, winners in the 2022 Stevie® Awards for Women in Business were announced on Friday, November 11.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business is an international competition produced by the creators of the prestigious International Business Awards® and American Business Awards®. The Stevie is widely considered to be the world’s premier business award.

With nominated working women and their guests in attendance, the awards were announced during a gala event at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 2022 competition attracted nominations from 27 nations.

The presentations were broadcast live via Livestream.

More than 1,500 nominations from organizations and individuals around the world were submitted to the awards this year for consideration in categories including Entrepreneur of the Year, Executive of the Year, Most Innovative Company of the Year, and Startup of the Year, among others. More than 200 business professionals working in seven specialized judging committees determined the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award winners.

Grand Stevie Award trophies were presented to five organizations that submitted the best body of entries to the competition, in their own names or in the names of one or more clients. Winners were determined by the number of Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Awards won in the competition. The Grand Stevie Award winners are:

  • The Audacious Agency, Coombabah, QLD, Australia (#1)
  • IBM, Armonk, NY, U.S.A. (#2)
  • Megaphone, Melbourne, Australia (#3)
  • Melissa Sones Consulting, New York, NY U.S.A. (#4)
  • Global Press Institute, Washington D.C., U.S.A. (#5)

The 2022 Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award winners reflect a diverse group of large and small organizations from around the globe. Notable Gold Stevie Award winners in this year’s competition include:

  • Sandrine Pons, Regional Vice President, Head of Solutions Sales & Innovation, SAP, Paris, France, for Women Helping Women – Business
  • Ann Kaplan, Las Vegas, NV U.S.A, for Woman of the Year – Accounting and Finance
  • Susan McLaughlin, Senior Innovative Media and Creative Operations Manager, Vanguard, Malvern, PA U.S.A, for Woman of the Year – Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
  • Fatima Sultan Al-Kuwari, Group Chief Human Resources Officer, Ooredoo, Qatar, for Female Executive of the Year – Business Products –More Than 2,500 Employees
  • Shama Hyder, CEO and Founder, Zen Media, Plano, TX U.S.A., for Most Innovative Woman of the Year – Social Media
  • Stephanie Wernick Barker, President, Mondo, New York, NY U.S.A, for Female Thought Leader of the Year – Business Services
  • Gehad Hamdy, Founder, Speak Up, Giza, Egypt, for Social Change Maker of the Year – Gender
  • Michelle John, Founding Director, PEGS, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, United Kingdom, for Woman of the Year – Government or Non-Profit
  • Kelley Higney, Founder & CEO, Bug Bite Thing, Port Lucie, FL U.S.A, for Best Female Entrepreneur – Consumer Products –11 to 2,500 Employees
  • Allison Grafton, President and Founder, Rockwood Custom Homes, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, for Best Female Entrepreneur in Canada

Organizations that won more than one Gold Stevie Award include Anheuser-Busch InBev, Babylist, Brandless, But Bite Thing, Caroline Kennedy Group, Everise, Flock DC, Global Press Institute, Halkbank, Harman International, LickYourPhone Media, Luma Brighter Learning, Megaphone, Primrose Schools, Rockwood Custom Homes, Rubi Laboratories, Sidus Space, and The Tambellini Group.

HCLTech, the global technology company delivering industry-leading capabilities centered around digital, engineering and cloud, powered by a broad portfolio of technology services and products, sponsored awards in four categories called HCLTech Women in Technology Awards. Among notable Stevie winners in those categories are:

  • Monica Williams, Senior Vice President – Digital Products and Content Distribution, NBCUniversal, for New Normal Digital Transformer
  • Karen Oerter, Director of Information Technology, Land O’Lakes, for New Normal Digital Transformer
  • Abby Knowles, Vice President Global Technology Solutions, Verizon, for Leading Through Uncertainty
  • Susan Doniz, CIO & SVP of Information Technology & Data Analytics, The Boeing Company, for Leading Through Uncertainty
  • Tia Ballard, Head of Cloud and Automation, Sempra, for Leadership in Next Gen Technology
  • Constance Metcalfe, Associate Vice President – Enterprise Infrastructure Transformation, Canadian Tire Corporation, for Excellence in Transforming Business

For a complete list of Stevie Award winners and more information, visit

The Stevie Awards staged the fifth edition of its Women|Future Conference virtually on November 8-10 in conjunction with the Stevie Awards for Women in Business. More than 250 women shared three days of programming highlighted by a keynote presentation by Rashmi Verma, head of D&I at Hugo Boss.

Entries for the 2023 (20th) edition of the awards will open in May. The 2023 awards ceremony will be held at the Marriott Marquis in New York, NY USA in November.

About the Stevie Awards

The Stevie Awards are conferred in eight programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards®, The International Business Awards®, the Middle East & North Africa Stevie Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 12,000 nominations each year from organizations in more than 70 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at

Maggie Miller
+1 (703) 547-8389

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8695848

NORI and Allseas Lift Over 3,000 Tonnes of Polymetallic Nodules to Surface from Planet’s Largest Deposit of Battery Metals, as Leading Scientists and Marine Experts Continue Gathering Environmental Data

Nodules in the hold

An Allseas engineer inspects the more than 3,000 tonnes of nodules stored in the hold of the surface production vessel Hidden Gem.

  • During the historic deepsea trials, engineers drove the pilot collector vehicle across over 80 kilometers of the seafloor, collecting approximately 4,500 tonnes of nodules and bringing over 3,000 tonnes up a 4.3-km riser system to the surface production vessel, Hidden Gem
  • The Allseas-designed pilot nodule collection system — which will be scaled to include additional collector heads and a wider diameter riser pipe in preparation for NORI’s Project Zero – achieved all pilot production milestones and reached a sustained production rate of 86.4 tonnes per hour
  • Conducted across a small test area in NORI-D, collection system trials and ongoing environmental impact monitoring are part of the International Seabed Authority’s regulatory and permitting process and the extensive amount of data gathered will inform TMC subsidiary NORI’s application to the ISA for an exploitation contract

NEW YORK, Nov. 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — TMC the metals company Inc. (Nasdaq: TMC) (“TMC” or the “Company”), an explorer of the world’s largest estimated undeveloped source of critical battery metals, today announced that its subsidiary NORI and offshore partner Allseas have successfully concluded the first integrated system test in the Clarion Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean since the 1970s, achieving all significant pilot milestones while collecting approximately 4,500 tonnes of seafloor polymetallic nodules. Over 3,000 tonnes were transported up a 4.3km-long riser system to the surface production vessel, Hidden Gem, while the additional 1,500 tonnes of nodules were purposely left behind on the seafloor as part of the trials.

Following initial pilot system commissioning tests, the dedicated team of 130 crew and engineers aboard the Hidden Gem conducted a series of production runs in NORI-D test area to assess the system’s endurance prior to further development into a small-scale commercial system. Driving the pilot nodule collector over 80 kilometers, Allseas engineers put the system through a series of tests achieving a sustained production rate of 86.4 tonnes per hour, roughly equivalent to transporting the mass of 40 Tesla Model S vehicles up the 4.3-km riser pipe every sixty minutes. The pilot system is expected to be scaled up to include additional collector heads and a wider diameter riser pipe in preparation for NORI’s Project Zero, which will target a production rate of over 200 tonnes per hour.

Concurrently, aboard a dedicated monitoring vessel, marine experts and academic scientists conducted the first monitoring program of an integrated pilot collector system test. The team used remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to survey, monitor and sample the sediment plumes generated by collector operations on the seafloor as well as the mid-water discharge of water from the riser system used to transport nodules from seafloor to the Hidden Gem. The team deployed an array of over 50 subsea sensors on seafloor landers and mid-water moorings to continually monitor sediment plumes and noise generated by the nodule collection operations. The ongoing monitoring program will continue to survey environmental impacts and produce valuable scientific data after the conclusion of the collector system test.

Gerard Barron, CEO & Chairman of The Metals Company said: “We believe in making decisions based on data and evidence, not speculation and sentiment. This pilot collection system trial and monitoring campaign is the single most important milestone in de-risking the NORI-D project and establishing actual data on the environmental impact profile of potential nodule collection operations and improvements we can make going forward.”

He added: “I’d like to thank the teams aboard all three vessels involved in this complex pilot test and monitoring campaign who have worked tirelessly—some for months—co-ordinating and solving problems together offshore. Hidden Gem is now heading back to port with over 3,000 tonnes of nodules in her hold but the post-collection survey work is still ongoing until the end of the year. We look forward to the completion of this important work and the opportunity to share the data and its implications with the global community as soon as possible.”

Nodules on the conveyor

Pilot nodule collection system trials achieved a sustained production rate of 86.4 tonnes per hour. The pilot system is expected to be scaled up to include additional collector heads and a wider diameter riser pipe in preparation for NORI’s Project Zero, which will target an average production rate of over 200 tonnes per hour.

With the technology trials complete, the marine research teams will remain on-site to recover the landers and moorings deployed for the collector test monitoring program and will undertake post-collection surveys to compare the status of the seafloor environment before and after the test. Once complete, the collection system test monitoring program will represent the single largest simultaneous environmental impact monitoring study ever conducted in the CCZ. The data collected, together with many terabytes of existing baseline data collected by NORI throughout 16 offshore campaigns, will form the basis of NORI’s application to the International Seabed Authority for an exploitation contract, which the Company expects to be ready for submission in the second half of 2023.

TMC and NORI expect that the findings from the rich data gathered during the trials will be published in scientific literature in the next year, in what is expected to be a significant expansion of our understanding of the deep-sea ecosystem in the CCZ where 17 of the 19 nodule exploration contracts awarded by the ISA are located.

Pilot collector on deck

The Allseas-designed pilot collector vehicle awaits deployment from the Hidden Gem during the first integrated system trials in the Clarion Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean since the 1970s.

In September 2022, NORI announced that it received the ISA’s recommendation to commence its pilot nodule collection system trials in the CCZ after its review of the Collector Test Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Collector Test Environmental Monitoring and Management Plan (EMMP). While several ISA contractors including BGR (Germany), GSR (Belgium) and NIOT (India) have successfully conducted trials of prototype nodule collectors in recent years, the conclusion of NORI’s tests marks the first time an integrated nodule collection system — including a riser system — has been tested in the Clarion Clipperton Zone since the 1970s, when oil, gas, mining and industrial majors including Shell, BP, Rio Tinto (Kennecott), US Steel, INCO (Vale) and Sumitomo successfully conducted pilot test work, collecting ~2,000 tonnes of nodules.

The view from the control room

From a dedicated control room aboard the Hidden Gem, Allseas engineers successfully drove the pilot collector vehicle over 80 kilometers across the seafloor in the NORI-D exploration of the Clarion Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean.

In March 2022, NORI and Allseas agreed that the pilot nodule collection system would be upgraded by Allseas to a commercial system with a targeted production capacity of 1.3 million tonnes of wet nodules per year and expected production readiness by Q4 2024.

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.

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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 publication of data from monitoring of the pilot collection system testing in the CCZ, TMC’s pilot collection testing in the CCZ, and the timing and content of an application to the ISA for an exploitation contract as well as the design, 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: the successful and timely completion of the ongoing pilot testing of TMC’s collection system in the CCZ; 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 CCZ 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 collection, development and processing polymetallic nodules; 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; TMC’s ability to raise additional funds; and other risks and uncertainties indicated from time to time in the Company’s Form 10-K, dated and filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 25, 2022 as well as the Company’s Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on August 15, 2022, 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.

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at

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