The Metals Company stock rises as US Bill proposes investment in seafloor mining

The Responsible Use of Seafloor Resources Act was introduced on Tuesday.
System used to uplift nodules from seafloor to surface. Credit: The Metals Company

The Metals Company (Nasdaq: TMC) shares soared on Wednesday after Congresswoman Carol Miller (R-WV) and Congressman John Joyce (R-PA) introduced a Bill to increase US support for deep-sea mining.

The Responsible Use of Seafloor Resources Act calls for federal resources to be allocated towards refining polymetallic nodule materials and advises several analyses across benefit sharing, technology development, trade, and environmental and human health.

The Act calls for the government to coordinate and expedite the development of infrastructure to process and refine seafloor nodules within the United States.

It also asks the Office of Science and Technology Policy to annually submit to the President and Congress a report including quantitative and qualitative analysis of the benefits to the US of importing seafloor nodules and processing and refining nodules domestically.

“The strength of US national security and energy independence will be determined by how we choose to respond amid increasing reliance on China. This legislation is common sense and encourages the needed strategic decoupling from China that is long overdue,” said Congresswoman Miller.

China controls roughly 60% of the global critical mineral production and over 85% of the world’s refining capacity.

“Over the last two decades, the Chinese Communist Party has strategically invested in putting a stranglehold on global critical mineral supply chains. It’s vital to our security and economic interests that the CCP controlled monopoly on these materials is broken,” said Congressman Joyce.

Following the introduction of the Bill, shares of the deep-sea mining pioneer rose as much as 15%. The Metals Company has a $588 million market capitalization.

“With commercial deep-sea nodule operations expected to begin soon, Congressional action to lay the foundation for processing and refining this remarkable resource is a game-changer,” CEO Gerard Barron said in a news release.

Minerals and metals such as cobalt, nickel, copper, and manganese can be found in potato-sized nodules on the ocean floor. Reserves are estimated to be worth anywhere from $8 trillion to more than $16 trillion, and they are in areas where companies, including The Metals Company, plan to target.

Many NGOs and environmental groups, however, argue that mining the seafloor could have a devastating impact on the planet.

A recent report by the non-profit Planet Tracker says mining the seafloor for key minerals and metals could negatively impact the mining industry, resulting in $500 billion of lost value and causing damages to the world’s biodiversity estimated to be up to 25 times greater than land-based mining.


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