DeepGreen Metals Inc. has acquired Tonga Offshore Mining Ltd. (TOML), giving the company exploration rights to a 74,713-km2 block of the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ) seabed that contains an inferred resource of 756 million wet metric tons (mt) of polymetallic nodules. TOML holds an exploration contract granted by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and sponsored by the Kingdom of Tonga. DeepGreen acquired TOML from Deep Sea Mining Finance Ltd.

As part of the TOML acquisition, DeepGreen will benefit from existing environmental studies, a Canadian NI 43-101 compliant technical resource report and an intellectual property portfolio.

The CCZ seabed contains the world’s largest known deposits of nickel, cobalt and manganese, according to the company. Several areas of particular environmental interest encompassing 1.44 million km2 have been set aside, which are intended to represent CCZ habitats and will be protected from resource extraction. Current exploration contracts in the CCZ account for 1.2 million km2 and are estimated to contain enough metal to electrify the entire global car fleet.

“The TOML project will enable us to bring more critical mineral resources to market to break through the bottleneck and shift away from fossil fuels,” CEO and Chairman of DeepGreen Gerard Barron said. “Our research shows that ocean polymetallic nodules can provide society with these metals at a fraction of the environmental and social impacts associated with land-based extraction.”