Assessing deep-sea biodiversity
- Following the publication of biodiversity data collected from the NORI-D exploration area on UNESCO’s Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS) on 22 June 2023, The Metals Company’s subsidiary NORI becomes the single largest contributor of biological occurrence data to the OBIS ISA-node, increasing biodiversity records available for the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ) by about 150%.
- NORI data now available on the OBIS ISA-node represents less than half of the total dataset collected to date, with the remaining baseline biological data currently being collated and further submissions expected in the coming months to ISA DeepData and the OBIS ISA-node.
- The ISA-node provides access to a wealth of information on the deep-sea and biological resources in the global commons for all society to use. In a week since the publication on OBIS, the NORI-D biodiversity records have been downloaded 67 times, and the total number of occurrence records downloaded exceeds 4.4 million.
- The complete NORI-D dataset is expected to be one of the most comprehensive datasets ever gathered in the deep-sea and will form the basis of NORI’s Environmental Impact Statement, an integral part of the application to the International Seabed Authority for an exploitation contract in NORI-D area.
NEW YORK, July 03, 2023 (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 data submitted by its subsidiary NORI to the International Seabed Authority’s ‘DeepData’ platform in March 2023 has now been made available to the public via UNESCO’s Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS), increasing the biodiversity occurrence records contained within the OBIS ISA node for the Clarion Clipperton Zone by about 150%.
As the first UN body to become a member of the OBIS network, the ISA publishes biodiversity data collected by contractors and submitted to its DeepData platform to the OBIS ISA-node. The publication of this initial batch of data to the OBIS ISA node follows NORI’s decade-long research efforts to define the polymetallic nodule resource and develop an environmental baseline for its NORI-D exploration area, as part of its Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the NORI-D Nodule Project. Since 2012, the Company has collaborated with leading industry experts and independent scientists from marine research institutions from around the world on its ESIA, gathering data throughout 17 offshore campaigns, representing over 470 operational research days on the NORI-D area.
Collected using a suite of high-tech equipment, the NORI dataset now available on OBIS includes over 1,400 biological samples from extensive boxcore and multicore sampling, and over 8,000 images analyzed for benthic megafauna captured by Remotely Operated Vehicles from two offshore campaigns. With NORI’s initial ISA submission to DeepData providing a significant expansion to the biological holdings contained within, the upload of this data to OBIS sees NORI becoming the single largest data provider to the OBIS ISA node, providing almost 60% of the records. OBIS holds the world’s largest scientific knowledge base on the diversity, distribution and abundance of all marine organisms.
The NORI dataset is now available for public scrutiny and interrogation. Since its publication on June 22, 2023, records from the NORI dataset have been downloaded 67 times, and the total number of occurrence records downloaded so far exceeds 4.4 million.
Dr Michael Clarke, Environmental Manager at The Metals Company, said: “Through our own research efforts and by sharing our data publicly, we expect that the 3D environment of NORI-D will become one of the most highly-characterized areas of our planet’s oceans. This is just a taste of what’s to come and we look forward to sharing data from additional campaigns, as well as all remaining data concerning ocean geochemistry, bathymetry and pelagic biodiversity with the scientific community once we’ve gone through the labor-intensive process of analyzing this wealth of information.”
Over the coming months, NORI will continue working with research teams to fully collate and categorize the hundreds of terabytes of data and thousands of biological samples that have been collected to date. NORI expects numerous further papers to be published in peer-reviewed journals in the coming months and years, adding significantly to society’s understanding of the deep sea.
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.
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 submission and review of our data collected during two benthic baseline campaigns on the NORI-D areas well as the remaining baseline data and samples, including geochemical samples and biological samples from the water column, currently being collated and categorized by TMC. 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 collection, development and processing polymetallic nodules; risks associated with TMC’s limited operating history; 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 Company’s Form 10K, dated and filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 27, 2023, 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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