INDIA’S SEABED MINING LICENCE EXTENDED

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INDIA’S SEABED MINING LICENCE EXTENDED

Source: http://subseaworldnews.com/2017/08/21/indias-seabed-mining-licence-extended/

India’s exclusive rights to explore polymetallic nodules from seabed in Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) have been extended by five years.

These rights are over 75000 sq. km of area in international waters allocated by International Seabed Authority for developmental activities for polymetallic nodules.

The estimated polymetallic nodule resource potential is 380 million tonnes, containing 4.7 million tonnes of nickel, 4.29 million tonnes of copper and 0.55 million tonnes of cobalt and 92.59 million tonnes of manganese.

While, the extraction of metals from the polymetallic nodules lying at the deep ocean floor is not yet found to be economically viable at this stage, an area of about 7860 square km has been identified in the CIOB for the first generation mine site on the basis of detailed surveys and analysis.

Environmental studies for mining of deep-sea polymetallic nodules were also carried out to evaluate the possible impacts of mining on deep-sea environment.

A remotely operable submersible (ROSUB 6000), capable of operating at 6000 m water depth was also developed and tested at a depth of 5289 m.

Furthermore, a remotely operable in-situ soil testing equipment was developed for obtaining detailed geotechnical properties of the mining area at CIOB and tested at 5462 m water depth.

A mining system is under development which has been tested for 500m water depth. Metallurgical process routes for extracting copper, nickel and cobalt from polymetallic nodules have been developed and tested in a demonstration pilot plant set up on semi-continuous basis at Hindustan Zinc Limited, Udaipur with a capacity to process 500 kg nodules per day.

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GIANT MAGNET WILL BE USED TO MINE SEABED IRONSAND OFF TARANAKI COAST

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GIANT MAGNET WILL BE USED TO MINE SEABED IRONSAND OFF TARANAKI COAST

Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/95546761/ttr-ironsand-mining-decision-approved

A landmark decision will allow a mining company to dredge 50 million tonnes of ironsand a year from the South Taranaki Bight using a giant magnet, the Environmental Protection Authority says.

The EPA today released its decision in favour of Trans Tasman Resources consent application lodged 12 months ago.

The final decision was split 2:2 between the four members of the decision making committee, with chairman Alick Shaw, making the casting vote to approve the application.

The company's application for consent covered an area of 66 square kilometres between 22km and 36km off the west coast of South Taranaki within New Zealand's exclusive economic zone.

The proposal to mine and export titaniferous iron sand was called "a sustainable and world leading development" and would have little environmental effect, the company said.

It had been opposed by Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM), Patea - based iwi Ngati Ruanui, and Talley's Fisheries who also submitted against the mining when a previous application by TTR was declined by the EPA in 2014.

KASM and Ngati Ruanui said they will appeal the decision. 

Last year a 6000 signature petition was presented to parliament by KASM and Ngati Ruanui calling for a moratorium on seabed mining.

Much of the concern from opposing groups focused on a sediment plume from the mining process which would be widely dispersed back to the seabed during the dredging.

The plume would affect marine animals living in and outside of the proposed mining area, objectors claimed.

Research by the council found at least five threatened species of invertebrate lived within the proposed mining area.

In August TTR updated its application with further scientific and engineering research, and refined the environmental impact.

Under the application the company plan to dredge up to 50 million tonnes of iron sand each year by separating ore from the sediment on a processing ship.

Around 44m tonnes, or 90 per cent, of the sand would be returned to the seabed into previously mined areas.

The sea floor where the dredging will take place contained no significant marine features, and was an area of significant wave and tidal action.

TTR estimated the project would generate between $20m and $160m in local, regional and national GDP, and provide between 300 and 1650 jobs.

The project would also generate between $45m-$300m in expenditure in Taranaki and nationally, and also add to government income through taxes and royalties, TTR said.

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GEOLOGISTS STRIKE SEABED GOLD IN PENINSULAR INDIA

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GEOLOGISTS STRIKE SEABED GOLD IN PENINSULAR INDIA

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/geologists-strike-seabed-gold-in-peninsular-india/articleshow/59624483.cms

Kolkata: Scientists from the Geological Survey of India (GSI) have discovered the presence of millions of tonnes of precious metals and minerals deep under the waters that surround peninsular India. The vast repository and the prospect of finding huge am-ounts of previously untapped resources in barely-exploited territory hold tremendous potential, say geologists.

The huge presence of marine resources was first identified off Mangaluru, Chennai, Mannar Basin, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and around Lakshadweep in early 2014. The amount of lime mud, phosphate-rich and calcareous sediments, hydrocarbons, metalliferous deposits and micronodules that geologists came across was a clear indication that more extensive exploration could lead to a larger treasure trove.

After three years of exploration, GSI has generated 181,025 square kilometres of high-resolution seabed morphological data and established the occurrence of more than 10,000 million tonnes of lime mud within the Exclusive Economic Zone of India.

It has also confirmed the presence of phosphate sediment off Karwar, Mangaluru and Chennai coasts, gas hydrate in the channel-levee system of Mannar Basin off the Tamil Nadu coast, cobalt-bearing ferro-manganese crust from the Andaman Sea and micro-manganese nodules around Lakshadweep Sea.

Three state-of-the-art res-earch vessels — Samudra Ratnakar, Samudra Kaustabh and Samudra Saudikama — carried out this investigation, which was named 'High Resolution Seabed Mapping and Natural Resource Evaluation'.

Ashish Nath, superintendent geologist at GSI, said: "The main objectives were to identify potential zones of favourable mineralization and evaluate marine mineral resources to benefit all stakeholders in the field of mining and geology, specifically industries based on cement, paint, fertilizer, construction and rare earth element."

The results have been mapped and sent to the ministry of mines for appraisal. An enthused ministry, meanwhile, has asked GSI to induct another vessel with shallow water drilling capability by early 2019 to undertake mineral investigation with deeper penetration for 3D modelling of mineral resources and geo-technical investigations.

Apart from geo-scientific research, GSI has also partnered with security agencies to help in investigations, said Nath. "We have helped the National Investigation Agency investigate the Kerala offshore in the Iranian boat case and aided the completion of the probe through scientific inputs. Another survey was done with the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard in the search for IAF's AN-32 aircraft that went missing during its flight from Chennai to Port Blair. Then, there was a short survey off Visakhapatnam for locating a sunken Navy ship using technology installed in one of our vessels," he said.

For three years, GSI has been scouring the seabed within the country's jurisdiction for mineral deposits. It was asked by the ministry of mines, to which it reports, to investigate the underwater potential because of the depleting reserves below the earth's surface. Till date, only 5% of the deep-sea floor, which covers about 60% of the earth's surface, has been properly explored, say scientists.

The GSI, headquartered in the city, is the country's repository of geo-scientific information and mineral resources assessor. It was established in 1851 to identify coal deposits for the railways.

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WHY ARE COUNTRIES LAYING CLAIM TO THE DEEP-SEA FLOOR?

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WHY ARE COUNTRIES LAYING CLAIM TO THE DEEP-SEA FLOOR?

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-40248866

Around the world, countries are claiming obscure and difficult-to-reach tracts of the deep-sea floor, far from the surface and further still from land. Why?

There is a long history of claiming newly discovered territories, of planting the flag at far outposts of the known world.

In the early 20th Century, explorers raced to the South Pole, their sponsors keen to benefit from future exploitation of these unknown areas.

In 1945, President Harry S Truman broke with convention to claim the entire continental shelf off the US.

And, in 2007, Russia used a submersible to plant a flag at the North Pole.

All shared a common motivation - the hunt for new resources - and there is now a new frontier: the deep-sea floor.

Exploration offers the prospect of finding huge amounts of previously untapped resources, but serious environmental concerns remain.

Abysses to mountains

Only 5% of the deep-sea floor, which covers about 60% of the Earth's surface, has been properly explored.

Light penetrates only the top layers, and the vast, deep oceans are pitch-black, with temperatures just a few degrees above freezing point.

Each time it is explored - by mini-submarines tethered to surface ships - strong lights pick out fragile structures and animals that have never been seen before.

But countries and companies are turning their eyes towards its minerals, potentially worth billions of pounds.

Already, there have been significant advances in the technology required to discover, map and mine them - with robotic equipment built to operate at great depths.

There are significant deposits scattered over the plains of the ocean's deepest abysses and encrusted on the rocky outcrops of underwater mountains.

They are also on active and extinct hydrothermal vents - the fissures in the planet's surface from which hot water spouts.

Deep-sea mining, an idea dating back to the 1960s, could now happen within 10 years.

It has been made a possibility by population growth, economic growth and concerns over the supply and security of minerals on land.

Copper, nickel and cobalt can all be found at high concentrations, in mineral deposits, as can the so-called "critical" metals.

These include the rare earth elements used in a range of new technologies such as memory chips, LEDs and batteries for electric vehicles.

It is thought the mountains of the Pacific alone could contain about 22 times more tellurium - which is used in solar panels - than the known land-based reserves combined.

Under pressure

At present there is no exploitation of deep-sea mineral resources, only exploration.

The UK - through a partnership between the government and a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin UK - is among countries exploring one of the main areas, the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, which stretches across the Pacific Ocean for thousands of miles between Mexico and Hawaii.

There are serious challenges to overcome at this remote location.

Equipment has to function reliably at depths of 5km (three miles) - where pressure is 500 times that at the surface - before deposits are brought on to ships and taken back to land.

There are other resources closer to shore.

Rich deposits of minerals are found at depths of over 1km (0.6 miles) in the Bismarck Sea off Papua New Guinea.

For these easier-to-access reserves, deep-sea mining equipment has been designed, tested and built.

If mining operations go ahead here, they will offer some insights for future and deeper operations.

However, strong opposition remains over concerns about the potential environmental impact.

Churning up

The rules for exploitation are yet to be agreed, but contractors will have to demonstrate they have assessed the environmental impact of mining and that plans are in place to manage the effects.

This is perhaps the greatest challenge for deep-sea mining and the area of greatest tension.

Our understanding of the deep-sea environment is very limited, let alone our understanding of the effects of mining it.

The diversity of life in the oceans, particularly around deep-sea vents and other mineral deposits, is spectacular, yet we know there are many more species still to be discovered.

Recent research by international consortiums of scientists has begun to try to measure the impact of churning up the ocean floor.

Mining could have consequences for many forms of life in the ocean.

That could, in turn, affect the ocean's function as a food source and a carbon sink.

It could also affect the search for new drugs and other products.

For example:

  • An anti-inflammatory extract from a Caribbean octocoral is now used in a commercial skincare range
  • An anti-cancer treatment uses a natural product extracted from a marine sponge
  • A painkiller based on a synthetic derivative from a cone snail is being made

Sea-floor 'owners'

Where the resources are found within 200 nautical miles (370km) of shore, it is up to individual countries to reach agreement about who owns them.

In the deeper international waters, it becomes more difficult.

Here, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) is responsible for awarding licenses for mining.

Established by the UN in 1984, its decisions are legally binding on the 166 states - and the EU - who are party to it.

Milestones in deep sea exploration

  • 1934 - William Beebe and Otis Barton descend 923m (3,028ft) in a "bathysphere" - an unpowered deep-sea submersible made of cast-iron, lowered by a cable
  • 1960 - In the Trieste submersible (pictured), Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh explore the Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench - the deepest known part of the Pacific Ocean - reaching a depth of roughly 11km

Administering resources defined as being for "the common heritage of mankind", the ISA has so far approved 26 contracts of 15 years.

These are held by 20 sponsor countries, including China and Russia - which have four licences each - and the UK, France, Germany, India and Japan - which have two licences.

Eye on the seas

Licences have to be shared equally with a developing nation - each getting half the sea floor.

The oceans already provide humanity with many resources, but the deep oceans have long been overlooked because of their inaccessibility.

The coming years will potentially see a lot of changes, as our understanding and technology improves.

The race to license areas of the deep ocean will only intensify.

About this piece

This analysis piece was commissioned by the BBC from an expert working for an outside organisation.

Prof Rachel Mills is dean of the faculty of natural and environmental sciences at the University of Southampton.

She is a member of the Royal Society's Working Group on Future Ocean Resources, upon whose work this article is based

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DE BEERS’ $157M VESSEL TO EXPLORE DIAMONDS OFF NAMIBIA’S COAST

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DE BEERS’ $157M VESSEL TO EXPLORE DIAMONDS OFF NAMIBIA’S COAST

Source: http://www.mining-technology.com/news/newsde-beers-launches-exploration-vessel-to-unravel-diamonds-off-namibias-coast-5846050

 

South African-based De Beers Group’s $157m mv SS Nujoma vessel is set to start exploring for diamond deposits in offshore Namibian waters following its official inauguration. 

With the 12,000t, diesel-electric powered Debmarine Namibia will be able to explore the deposits and secure diamond supply in the country. The vessel is equally owned by the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group. 

The Government of the Republic of Namibia Mines and Energy Minister Obeth Kandjoze said: “Today marks an important milestone for offshore diamond mining in Namibia. 

“The mv SS Nujoma represents the largest ever capital investment in underwater diamond mining and will ensure a long-term, sustainable future for offshore diamond mining in Namibia, as well as creating important new jobs for Namibians.”

Measuring 113m in length, the vessel can carry a crew of 80 and is equipped with a helicopter deck suitable for Sikorsky S61s. 

It was constructed in Ulsteinvik, Norway, and is fitted with a subsea sampling system, designed by De Beers Group.

"In order for the sector to thrive, it requires strong and supportive legislative and fiscal regimes."

De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver said: "The mv SS Nujoma will allow even more of Namibia’s high-quality offshore diamonds to be discovered and mined, ensuring a strong future for Namibia’s diamond industry, as well as the global diamond market."

The vessel inauguration comes after five months of successful sea trials.

The mv SS Nujoma vessel is claimed to incorporate technologies that allow it to sample faster, take larger samples and collect more information per sample than any other diamond sampling vessel. 

Mining of Namibia’s diamonds is expected to take place at around 120m to 140m below sea level.

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RSC ANNOUNCES PLATINUM SPONSORSHIP FOR THIS YEAR'S 10TH INTERNATIONAL MINING GEOLOGY CONFERENCE

RSC ANNOUNCES PLATINUM SPONSORSHIP FOR THIS YEAR'S 10TH INTERNATIONAL MINING GEOLOGY CONFERENCE

Global consultancy RSC Mining and Mineral Exploration (www.rscmme.com) is pleased to announce that it will be the Platinum Sponsor for this year's 10th International Mining Geology Conference (http://www.mininggeology.ausimm.com.au/).

The International Mining Geology Conference series, jointly convened by the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) and the Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG), has developed into the premier event in the world of Mining Geology. This years conference will be held in in Hobart, Tasmania from the 20-22nd of September.

RSC Managing Director, and New Zealand Branch AusIMM chair, René Sterk commented that “The theme of 'setting new standards' sits well with RSC as we are constantly developing new tools and systems to improve the quality of our resource development services. Our RSC Resource Intelligence platform and our various sampling, drilling, and assaying quality related work flows continue to add value to our clients. RSC is excited to be showcasing this work at the conference.

We are pleased to be able to support the conference as the premier sponsor and our team is looking forward to being in Hobart in September and meeting with colleagues and clients”.

René will be presenting the paper "Public Reporting – New Standards or No Standards" on the second day of the conference.

DV RESOURCES LTD. ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF DEEPGREEN RESOURCES

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DV RESOURCES LTD. ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF DEEPGREEN RESOURCES

Source: http://www.stockhouse.com/news/press-releases/2017/05/30/dv-resources-ltd-announces-acquisition-of-deepgreen-resources

Vancouver, BC (FSCwire) - DV Resources Ltd. (“DV” or the “Company”) (TSXV – DLV.H) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an arms-length binding letter agreement dated May 16, 2017 (the “Letter Agreement”) with DeepGreen Resources Inc. (“DeepGreen”) providing for the acquisition (the “Acquisition”) by the Company of all the shares of DeepGreen pursuant to a three cornered amalgamation (“the RTO”). 

Trading in the common shares of the Company has been halted in accordance with the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange (the “Exchange”) and will remain halted until such time as all required documentation has been filed with and accepted by the Exchange and permission to resume trading has been obtained from the Exchange. Since the common shares of the Company are listed on the NEX market of the Exchange, and the Acquisition does not constitute a Related Party Transaction under the policies of the Exchange, the Company is not required to seek shareholder approval for the Acquisition.

About DeepGreen

DeepGreen Resources Inc. is a private Canadian company focussed on producing clean metals from high-grade seafloor polymetallic nodules containing Nickel, Copper, Cobalt and Manganese. DeepGreen is pursuing two projects in international waters west of Mexico through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Nauru Ocean Resources Inc. (“NORI”) and DeepGreen Engineering Pte. Ltd (“DGE”). DeepGreen’s NORI Area D Project (“NORI D Project”), which is conducted in cooperation with the Republic of Nauru, is advancing the project through the completion of key environmental and engineering milestones. DGE holds patents for a processing technology that maximizes metal recovery from polymetallic nodules while minimizing waste. DeepGreen has spent approximately US$ 19 million.

Maersk Supply Service A/S

On the 21st of March 2017, DeepGreen signed an agreement with Maersk Supply Service A/S (Maersk Supply Service), to supply vessels and offshore services for a total of five marine campaigns during the period 2017 through 2019. The vessels will support environmental studies of the seabed reaching a water depth of 4000+ meters and for testing of a nodule harvester prototype. Maersk Supply Service’s service contribution of approximately US$25 million will convert to DeepGreen common shares @ US$1.25 per share with conversion upon completion of each cruise.  

Maersk Supply Service provides marine services and integrated solutions to the energy sector worldwide. Maersk Supply Service is the market leader in deep-water services such as anchor handling in ultra-deep water, mooring installations, rig moves and transport of equipment to drilling rigs and production units. Maersk Supply Service employs an international staff of approximately 1,100 offshore and 200 onshore people. Headquartered in Lyngby, Denmark, Maersk Supply Service is represented globally with offices in Aberdeen, St. John's, Rio de Janeiro, Lagos, Luanda, Singapore and Perth. Maersk Supply Service is a part of the stand-alone Energy division of A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S.

Glencore International AG

On the 25th of May, 2012, DeepGreen and DGE signed an agreement with Glencore International AG (“Glencore”). This was in the form of an off-take agreement whereby DeepGreen agreed to deliver to Glencore 50% of the annual quantity of copper material and 50% of the annual quantity of nickel material produced by DGE from ore derived from the NORI Area at a metallurgical installation for processing ore from the NORI Licence Area directly owned or controlled by DGE. Glencore subscribed for 2 million DeepGreen shares at CDN$2.50.

Glencore is one of the largest global diversified natural resource commodity companies in the world, producing and trading more than 90 commodities.

The International Seabed Authority

In July 2011, NORI was granted an exploration contract by the International Seabed Authority (“ISA”), under which it has the exclusive rights to explore for polymetallic nodules for 15 years in the Clarion Clipperton Zone (“CCZ”) of the Pacific Ocean, subject to compliance with its exploration contract terms, and the priority right to apply for an exploitation contract to mine polymetallic nodules in the same area. The NORI contract area comprises four separate regions, NORI Areas A, B, C and D, with a combined area of 74,830 km2 (approximately the same size as the land mass of Scotland). The ISA has to date granted exploration contracts for polymetallic nodules to 17 parties including China Minmetals and a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin.

The ISA is an autonomous international organization established under the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (“Convention”) and the 1994 Implementation Agreement to organize and control activities in the CCZ and elsewhere in international waters (the “Area”), particularly with a view to administering and regulating the development of the resources of the Area in accordance with the legal regime established in the Convention and the 1994 Implementation Agreement.

The ISA, which has its headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica, came into existence on 16 November 1994, upon the entry into force of the Convention.

The ISA is made up of the parties to the Convention (numbering 167 States Parties and the European Union. The United States of America is currently not a party to the Convention. All rules, regulations, and procedures issued by the ISA to regulate prospecting, exploration, and exploitation of marine minerals in the Area are issued within a general legal framework established by the Convention and the 1994 Implementation Agreement.  

Proposed Acquisition

Pursuant to the Letter Agreement,  the Company and DeepGreen have agreed to effect the RTO by way of a three-cornered amalgamation pursuant to which DeepGreen will amalgamate with a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, and all of the shares of DeepGreen (each, a “DeepGreen Share”)  issued and outstanding prior to closing will be acquired by the Company from the existing holders thereof in consideration of the issuance of one Post-Consolidated DV Share (as defined below) for each DeepGreen Share so held for a total of 92,761,912 Post-Consolidated  Shares DV Shares to be issued to such DeepGreen securityholders.  In addition, all of the 6,432,544 outstanding stock options of DeepGreen will be exchanged for stock options to acquire Post-Consolidated DV Shares, based on the same terms as the existing options. Pursuant to its Mandate Agreement with the Company Fiore Management & Advisory Corp. (“Fiore”) will be issued 1,983,889 common shares of  Post-Consolidated DV shares. Upon completion of the RTO approximately 126,887,050 Post-Consolidated DV shares will be issued and outstanding.

Prior to the completion of the Acquisition, the Company will continue its corporate existence from Ontario to British Columbia and then consolidate its issued and outstanding common shares (the “Consolidation”) on the basis of one “new” common share (a “Post-Consolidated DV Share”) for every 3.5 “old” DV common shares outstanding, and change its name to a name similar to that of DeepGreen’s or such other name as may be agreed to between the Company and DeepGreen.

The Letter Agreement contains customary terms and conditions for a transaction of this nature, including covenants applicable to each of the parties until closing of the Acquisition regarding their respective businesses and affairs, and certain standstill provisions.  The parties are finalizing a definitive agreement (the “Definitive Agreement”) with respect to the Acquisition, which will contain the terms and conditions set out in the Letter Agreement and such other terms and conditions as set out in the Letter Agreement.

Private Placement

DeepGreen proposes to complete a non-brokered private placement of up 16,000,000 subscription receipts (the “Subscription Receipts”) to raise up to US$20 million, or such other amount as the Company and DeepGreen may determine, at a price of US$1.25 per Subscription Receipt (the “Financing”). Completion of the Financing is a condition to the completion of the Acquisition.

The gross proceeds from the Financing will be held in escrow and released to DeepGreen: (a) as to US$1 million in May 2017, US$3 million in June 2017 and if the RTO has not closed $2 million in July 2017 based on approved budgets to allow DeepGreen to meet its targeted September Cruise with Maersk and (b) the balance of US$14 million on the satisfaction or waiver of all conditions precedent to the completion of the Acquisition (“Release Condition”).  In the event the Release Condition is not met by August 31, 2017, or such later date as the Company and DeepGreen may determine, the gross remaining proceeds will be returned to certain subscribers without interest or deduction and the Subscription Receipts with respect thereto will be automatically cancelled. 

The net proceeds of the Financing will be used to fund marine cruises for environmental baseline studies, initiate offshore and onshore development programs, and for general corporate purposes.

Conditions Precedent to Completing the Acquisition

The parties’ obligations to complete the Acquisition are subject to the satisfaction of a number of conditions, including but not limited to, completion of the Financing, Exchange approval, and other conditions customary for a transaction of this nature. 

Proposed Directors and Senior Officers of the Resulting Issuer

Upon closing of the Acquisition, it is proposed that the board of the Resulting Issuer shall be reconstituted to be comprised of five members David Heydon, Sam Englebardt, Brian Paes-Braga, Paul Matysek and Gerard Barron. Gerard Baron will be the CEO, Robert Heydon COO, Jon Machin Head of Offshore, Dr. Samantha Smith Head of Environmental and Social.

Gerard Barron Chief Executive Officer and Board Director

In 2011, Gerard and David Heydon teamed up to found DeepGreen. In 2001 he founded Adstream, and remained CEO of the business until December 2013. During that time Adstream grew from a single office in Sydney to over 40 offices in 30 countries around the world and over $100 million in global revenue per year. Gerard has also been a first money investor in industry-leading companies including Nautilus Minerals and Sirtex Medical.

Chief Operating Officer: Robert Heydon

With a degree in Law (Hons) and Business Management from the University of Queensland, Robert has been instrumental in pioneering 21st century private sector mineral exploration in the international seabed area. He has been involved in the deep sea mining industry for over a decade and has played a key role in progressing the development of national and international legal frameworks regulating seafloor mining. Along with overseeing successful seafloor mineral exploration and metallurgical processing programmes, Robert has pioneered deep sea mineral ventures with Pacific Island countries. Previously, Robert worked for Nautilus Minerals Inc., and was a member of the UNEP/GRID-Arendal Steering Committee for the Pacific Marine Minerals and Deep Sea Mining Assessment.

Head of Offshore: Jon Machin

Jon Machin has 30 years of experience at the forefront of deep water engineering and technology, having held senior management positions in the technical and commercial departments within leading organizations in the oilfield sector. He has a remarkable track record of design and has built numerous Remote Operated Vehicles and ‘extreme’ machines that engage the seafloor, including trenchers for pipelines, cable laying equipment and deep water dredgers. With David Heydon, he jointly conceived the ROV drill to overcome limitations of conventional drill ships in the marine minerals industry.

Head of Environmental and Social: Dr. Samantha Smith

Dr. Smith previously headed Nautilus Mineral’s deep sea environmental program where she was responsible for managing impact assessments and permitting Nautilus’ seafloor mining project. Dr. Smith’s environmental impact assessment work resulted in Nautilus being granted an environment permit for the development of their seafloor mining project and additionally secured Nautilus’ 20-year Mining Lease for its deep sea mining project.

David Heydon - Director 

David Heydon is the Founder and original CEO of DeepGreen. Previously, he was the Founding President and CEO of the Nautilus Minerals Inc. establishing it as the world’s leader in deep sea metals exploration. While at Nautilus, he attracted the backing of leading mining companies such as Placer Dome (now Barrick Gold), Teck Resources, Anglo American. Heydon also led the Initial Public Offering ("IPO") of Nautilus on the TSX and AIM, and raised over US$360 million. Additionally, David is a director of the International Marine Minerals Society and a member of the Engineering Committee on Oceanic Resources (ECOR) Specialist Panel on deepwater mining. David is also a recipient of The Moore Medal in 2012 for his role in establishing an industry for the deep-sea mining of seafloor massive sulfides.

Brian Paes Braga – Director

Brian Paes-Braga, CIM, is founder and CEO of LiTHIUM X Energy Corp. He is also a Partner at Fiore Corporation, focused on capitalizing and building resources companies including Lithium X Energy Corp., Leagold Mining Corporation, Pentanova Energy Corp., among others. Mr. Paes-Braga has spent almost a decade in the international financial sector working with firms ranging in services from underwriting, mergers and acquisitions, asset management, venture capital and private equity. 

Paul Matysek – Director

Paul Matysek is a proven company builder with over 30 years of experience in the mining industry, having sold four companies in the past decade creating shareholder value in excess of $2.5 billion. He built Energy Metals Corporation which sold to UraniumOne in 2007 for $1.8 billion, Potash One which sold to K+S Ag for $434 million in 2011, Lithium One which merged with Galaxy Resources for $112 million in 2012 and most recently sold Goldrock Mines Corp to Fortuna Silver Mines for $178 million in July 2016. He is currently Executive Chairman of Lithium X Energy Corp.

Sam Englebardt - Director

Sam Englebardt has been a partner and managing director at Lambert Media Group (LMG) since 2007, responsible for developing new investment opportunities and overseeing a portfolio of private equity investments that includes Rave Motion Pictures (sold to Cinemark), Gold Class Cinemas (sold to iPic Theaters), Concord Music Group (sold to Wood Creek Capital), Village Roadshow Pictures and Demarest Films. Englebardt previously worked for some of the world’s largest law firms and was a Vice President at Alliance Bernstein, an asset management company with over $750 Billion under management. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any of the securities described herein. The securities have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "U.S. Securities Act"), or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold within the United States or to United States Persons unless registered under the U.S. Securities Act and applicable state securities laws or an exemption from such registration is available

Completion of the Acquisition is subject to a number of conditions, including but not limited to, acceptance by the Exchange and if applicable pursuant to the Exchange requirements, majority of the minority shareholder approval. Where applicable, the Acquisition cannot close until the required shareholder approval is obtained. There can be no assurance that the Acquisition will be completed as proposed or at all.

Investors are cautioned that, except as disclosed in the management information circular or filing statement to be prepared in connection with the Acquisition, any information released or received with respect to the Acquisition may not be accurate or complete and should not be relied upon. Trading in the securities of the Company should be considered highly speculative.

The Exchange has in no way passed upon the merits of the Acquisition and has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this news release. Neither the Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

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UNION MINISTRY TO LAUNCH ‘DEEP OCEAN MISSION’

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UNION MINISTRY TO LAUNCH ‘DEEP OCEAN MISSION’

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/union-ministry-to-launch-deep-ocean-mission/article18662162.ece

Panaji: The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is all set to launch ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ by January 2018, which is expected to improve India’s position in ocean research field, M Rajeevan, Secretary, MoES said here on Tuesday.

Mr. Rajeevan, who is also chairman of the Polymetallic Nodules Assessment Committee was addressing a workshop on ‘Three decades of India acquiring Pioneer Investor Status — Achievements and way forward’ at the CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography(NIO).

The program on poly metallic nodules was initiated at CSIR-NIO with the collection of the first nodule sample from Arabian Sea on board the first research vessel Gaveshani on January 26,1981. India was the first country in the world to have been given the pioneer area for exploration of deep-sea mineral, namely, polymetallic nodules in the Central Indian Ocean Basin in 1987.

“This was based on the extensive surveys carried out by the scientists of CSIR-NIO, on several research ships leading to the allocation of an area of 150,000 sq km to the country with exclusive rights under the UN Law of the sea. Subsequently, environment impact assessment (EIA) studies for nodule mining by CSIR-NIO, development of metal extraction process by CSIR-National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur, and CSIR-Institute for Minerals and Metals Technology, Bhubaneswar, and development of mining technology by National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai, have been taken up under the national program on polymetallic nodules funded by MoES”, said NIO Director VSN Murthy.

Based on the resource evaluation, India has now retained an area of 75,000 sq km with an estimated resource of about 100 million tons of strategic metals such copper, nickel, cobalt besides manganese and iron.

A FGM (First Generation Mine-site) with an area of 18,000 sq km has been identified. Latest technologies for extraction of metals from the minerals have also been developed.

“We have done EIA. We have done basic experiments on pilot scale since 1997. For economic exploration, the NIOT, Chennai is getting ready with the technology and they may start with mining in next five years,” Mr. Murthy told The Hindu.

He said that besides identifying the mineral resource and developing technologies for mining and extraction, the programme has also resulted in high impact research as well as manpower development. Detailed environmental data has been collected for compliance with International Seabed Authorities requirements. This is required as the mining activity on large scale should not adversely affect the coast of other countries in the neighbourhood.

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NAUTILUS GETS LARS FOR ITS SEAFLOOR MINING VESSEL

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NAUTILUS GETS LARS FOR ITS SEAFLOOR MINING VESSEL

Source: http://subseaworldnews.com/2017/05/09/nautilus-gets-lars-for-its-seafloor-mining-vessel/

The launch and recovery system (LARS) equipment for the Nautilus Minerals’ production support vessel has arrived at the Mawei shipyard in China, Toronto-based underwater mineral exploration company informed on Tuesday.

The LARS, built by AxTech on behalf of Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD), consists of A-frames, lift winches, hydraulic power units, electric power units and deck control cabins.

The system will be used to launch and stabilize the seafloor production tools during deployment from the vessel down to the seafloor and during retrieval from the seafloor back up to the vessel.

Mike Johnston, Nautilus’ CEO, said: “It is very exciting for us to see our equipment start to arrive at the Mawei shipyard in China. The next step for the LARS will be its integration onto the production support vessel (PSV), commencing June after import/customs clearances and minor re-assembly. The LARS’ installation marks the start of our equipment integration onto the PSV, and will be undertaken by Mawei shipyard personnel with support from Nautilus and the equipment vendors. The vessel build remains on schedule, and we look forward to seeing more of the equipment arrive for integration over the coming months.”

 

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CHINESE SUBMERSIBLE DISCOVERS POLYMETALLIC NODULES IN SOUTH CHINA SEA

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CHINESE SUBMERSIBLE DISCOVERS POLYMETALLIC NODULES IN SOUTH CHINA SEA

Source: http://english.gov.cn/news/top_news/2017/05/06/content_281475647322841.htm

ABOARD SHIP XIANGYANGHONG 09 — Jiaolong, China’s manned submersible, discovered a collection of polymetallic nodules in Puyuan Seamount in the South China Sea on May 5.

Jiaolong was underwater for six and a half hours on the second stage of China’s 38th ocean scientific expedition, which will last until May 13.

“Learning the distribution of polymetallic nodules will help us to choose a site for experimenting with collection, which is one of the main goals of the mission,” said Wu Changbin, general commander of the second stage of the expedition.

Polymetallic nodules contains more than 10 kinds of elements including manganese, iron, copper, nickel and cobalt.

Three crew in the submersible brought back samples of seawater from near the seabed, sediment, high-definition photographs and video footage.

They also brought back a sea lily and a branch of red coral in the sample of polymetallic nodules 2,000 meters deep beneath sea surface.

The maximum depth of the dive was 2,029 meters.

 

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ODYSSEY MARINE EXPLORATION, INC. (NASDAQ:OMEX) FILES AN 8-K OTHER EVENTS

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ODYSSEY MARINE EXPLORATION, INC. (NASDAQ:OMEX) FILES AN 8-K OTHER EVENTS

Source: https://marketexclusive.com/odyssey-marine-exploration-inc-nasdaqomex-files-an-8-k-other-events/100651/

Effective as of April 10, 2017, Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (“Odyssey”) issued 670,455 unregistered shares of common stock to Epsilon Acquisitions LLC (“Epsilon”) upon conversion of indebtedness evidenced by the Convertible Promissory Note that Odyssey Marine Enterprises, Ltd. (“OME”), a subsidiary of Odyssey, issued to Epsilon on March, 18 2016. The amount of indebtedness converted was $3,050,000, plus interest, and the conversion rate was $5.00 per share of common stock. As previously disclosed in the Current Report on Form 8-K that Odyssey filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 26, 2017, conversion of the indebtedness required 75 days’ notice from Epsilon, and Epsilon delivered its conversion notice on January 25, 2017.

Epsilon is an affiliate of Minera del Norte S.A. de c.v. (“MINOSA”) with which we have an investment agreement for the potential purchase of new equity securities that would represent a majority of the equity in Odyssey. The conversion of indebtedness by Epsilon makes Epsilon one of the largest Odyssey stockholders and further aligns the interests of Odyssey and MINOSA


About ODYSSEY MARINE EXPLORATION, INC. (NASDAQ:OMEX) 

Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Odyssey) is a deep-ocean exploration company. The Company’s techniques are applied to mineral exploration, shipwreck cargo recovery, and other marine survey and exploration charter services. The Company is engaged in discovering shipwreck sites in the deep ocean and conducting archaeological excavations with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). Its shipwreck discoveries include the SS Republic, HMS Victory, Black Swan, La Marquise de Tourny and other unidentified shipwrecks. The Company offers exploration services, including geophysical and geotechnical assessments of seabed mineral deposits to companies, including its subsidiaries and companies, in which it holds an equity position, as a resource development partner. The Company evaluates or explores various types of seabed mineral deposits, such as phosphorites, polymetallic nodules and seafloor massive sulfides. Odyssey offers its marine exploration services to third-party companies.

ODYSSEY MARINE EXPLORATION, INC. (NASDAQ:OMEX) Recent Trading Information 

ODYSSEY MARINE EXPLORATION, INC. (NASDAQ:OMEX) closed its last trading session 00.00 at 3.84 with 27,863 shares trading hands.

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BRITISH EXPEDITION DISCOVERS SUB-SEA RARE EARTH TREASURE

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BRITISH EXPEDITION DISCOVERS SUB-SEA RARE EARTH TREASURE

Source: https://www.neweurope.eu/article/british-expedition-discovers-sub-sea-rare-earth-treasure/

But, mining comes at an environmental price

A British National Oceanographic expedition discovered an underwater rare earth deposit in the Atlantic, 500km from the Canary Islands, which is “astonishingly rich” in the substance called Tellurium.

The BBC reports that the underwater tellurium deposit is found in concentrations 50,000 times higher than in deposits on land. The metal is used for the construction of wind turbines, solar panels, and electronic appliances.

The question on whether to mine the 3,000-meter underwater mountain known as Tropic Seamount raises environmental concerns. Although the “treasure trove” is 1,000 meters under the surface, mining of this valuable resource is technologically possible through the use of robotic submarines. The deposit could contain 2,670 tons of tellurium or 5% of the global reserves.

On land, Tellurium is found in combination with gold, silver, copper, lead or nickel in various minerals. That means that mining could yield many more metals.

Because the metal is used in the production of renewables, the cost-benefit analysis for the environment has begun. Mining has an environmental impact both on land and underwater, but the argument goes that when it comes to the extraction of richer ores, a smaller area needs to be covered. As on earth mining, the primary concern is stirred dust, harming marine life in the region.

In the deep sea, the concern is mainly about single-celled organisms called xenophyophores, who play a significant role in the food chain by forming hard shell-like structures that resemble miniature coral reefs-habitats. The biodiversity of such environments is often compared to rainforests. Thus far, the argument is that the impact will be localized.

Europe is one of the richest continents in the production of Tellurium, with the biggest production being in Belgium. Tellurium is also produced in  Germany, Sweden, and Finland. The U.K is not a Tellurium producer, but a single discovery could place it on the map.

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NAUTILUS TO TEST SEAFLOOR PRODUCTION TOOLS IN PNG SUBMERGED TRIALS

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NAUTILUS TO TEST SEAFLOOR PRODUCTION TOOLS IN PNG SUBMERGED TRIALS

Source: http://www.miningweekly.com/article/nautilus-to-test-seafloor-production-tools-in-png-submerged-trials-2017-04-04

VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Marine mining hopeful Nautilus Minerals will shortly start submerged testing of its fleet of seafloor production tools, following the equipment’s arrival in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

"We are delighted to be undertaking submerged trials in PNG. The trials will result in money and investment going into the PNG economy, and the employment of Papua New Guineans using 'state of the art' technology, which are some of the key benefits of seafloor production. The trials also allow us to work closely with our partner Petromin, government officers from the various government agencies, as well as representatives from the provincial governments of New Ireland and East New Britain,” CEO Mike Johnston said on Monday.

The submerged trials will happen in an existing facility on Motukea Island, near Port Moresby in PNG.

The company last month said it remained on track to achieve production from the Solwara 1 project, offshore PNG in the Bismarck Sea, in the first quarter of 2019. The company’s objective is to develop the world's first commercial high-grade seafloor copper/gold mine and launch the seafloor resource production industry.

Nautilus formed a joint venture company with PNG’s nominee, Eda Kopa (Solwara), in December 2014 to mine high-grade polymetallic seafloor massive sulphide deposits. Nautilus has an 85% shareholding and Eda Kopa 15%.

Nautilus in September announced a revised work programme, pending the company successfully raising the required capital by June. It entails a more staged approach, moving the Nautilus equipment integration phase of vessel construction out until after the vessel has been delivered by Fujian Mawei Shipyard and Marine Assets Corporate in the fourth quarter of 2018, resulting in a 12-month delay to the original schedule. 

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WORLD’S FIRST SEABED MINE TO BEGIN PRODUCTION IN 2019

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WORLD’S FIRST SEABED MINE TO BEGIN PRODUCTION IN 2019

Source: http://www.mining.com/worlds-first-seabed-mine-to-begin-production-in-2019/?utm_source=digest-en-mining-170324&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=digest

Canada’s Nautilus Minerals (TSX:NUS), the world's first yet not the only seafloor miner, is on track to start operations at its Solwara 1 gold, copper and silver project off the coast of Papua Guinea in early 2019.

The Toronto-based company, which also is developing another underwater project, off the coast of Mexico, expects to have all its undersea mining tools ready to go by mid-next year, so it can kick-off operations at the Bismarck Sea-based project shortly after, chief executive Mike Johnston toldSeeker.com.

But the road hasn’t been one except of bumps for Nautilus. Since first proposed, its Solwara 1 project has met with some opposition mostly from environmentalists, who fear the aquatic ecosystem could be severely affected by mining the seabed.

The company also faced some hurdles long-dragged dispute with the Papua New Guinea government, which it was able to put aside in 2014.  Since then, progress on the project has moved quickly, while competition has begun to flourish.

t’s estimated that the United Nations’ International Seabed Authority (ISA), which is in charge of issuing exploration licences to both governments and companies has granted 26 such permits so far.

Countries including New Zealand, Namibia, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands have also granted permits for seabed mineral exploration. The Cook Islands has even undertaken a minerals exploration tender process, but PNG is the only country in the region to have granted a licence for ocean floor mining.

 

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DEEPGREEN RESOURCES INC. ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH MAERSK SUPPLY SERVICE A/S IN DEEPSEA METALS INDUSTRY

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DEEPGREEN RESOURCES INC. ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH MAERSK SUPPLY SERVICE A/S IN DEEPSEA METALS INDUSTRY

source: http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/deepgreen-resources-inc-announces-partnership-with-maersk-supply-service-as-in-deepsea-metals-industry-616799114.html

 

VANCOUVER, March 22, 2017 /CNW/ - DeepGreen Resources Inc. ("DeepGreen") is pleased to announce its partnership with Maersk Supply Service A/S ("Maersk Supply Service") to recover polymetallic nodules from the Clarion Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean. The deepsea metals industry is an opportunity for developing a more environmentally and societally attractive way to produce cleaner base and strategic metals.

DeepGreen is advancing the NORI Area D Project ("NORI D Project") through its wholly owned subsidiary Nauru Ocean Resources Inc. ("NORI"). The NORI D Project is conducted in cooperation with the Republic of Nauru and advancing the project involves completion of key environmental and engineering milestones. As part of the NORI D Project, Maersk Supply Service has committed one Anchor Handler Tug Supply ("AHTS") Vessel and one Subsea Support Vessel ("SSV") for a total of five marine campaigns (the "Campaigns") during the period 2017 through 2019. The AHTS vessel will support environmental studies of the seabed reaching a water depth of 4000+ meters and the SSV will be utilizing its deck capacity as well as crane capabilities for testing the nodule harvester prototype. Maersk Supply Service's service contribution of approximately US$25 million will convert to DeepGreen common shares.  

During the Campaigns, DeepGreen's offshore team will undertake baseline studies required to complete a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment. DeepGreen will also collect polymetallic nodules for metallurgical test work and undertake trials of its nodule harvesting technology. The environmental studies of the seabed will make use of Maersk Supply Service's specialized assets built for deep water operations and expertise for ultra-deep water subsea operations.

Steen S. Karstensen, Chief Executive Officer of Maersk Supply Service, states, "Maersk Supply Service appreciates this unique opportunity to partner with DeepGreen Resources. We believe DeepGreen is well positioned in the seafloor minerals industry and I am confident that Maersk Supply Service's deep-water offshore expertise and Integrated Solutions services will enable us to significantly contribute to the success of this endeavour."

"DeepGreen has secured a strong offshore partner that shares our vision for the recovery of cleaner base and strategic metals from polymetallic nodules in the Clarion Clipperton Zone," said Keith Calder, Chief Executive Officer, DeepGreen Resources Inc.

About DeepGreen
DeepGreen Resources Inc. is a private Canadian deepsea minerals company that is pursuing the commercial harvesting of high grade seafloor polymetallic nodules in the Pacific Ocean. DeepGreen is pursuing two projects in international waters through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Nauru Ocean Resources Inc. and DeepGreen Engineering Pte. Ltd. DeepGreen's patented processing technology maximizes metal recovery from polymetallic nodules while minimizing waste. DeepGreen believes that the seafloor minerals industry provides a more environmentally and societally attractive way to produce cleaner base and strategic metals. Learn more about DeepGreen at deepgreenresources.com

About Maersk Supply Service A/S
Maersk Supply Service provides marine services and integrated solutions to the energy sector worldwide. Maersk Supply Service is the market leader in deep-water services such as anchor handling in ultra-deep water, mooring installations, rig moves and transport of equipment to drilling rigs and production units. Maersk Supply Service employs an international staff of around 1,100 offshore and 200 onshore people. Headquartered in Lyngby, Denmark, Maersk Supply Service is represented globally with offices in Aberdeen, St. John's, Rio de Janeiro, Lagos, Luanda, Singapore and Perth. Maersk Supply Service is a part of the stand-alone Energy division of A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S. A.P. Møller – Maersk A/S employs roughly 88,000 employees across operations in 130 countries.

Forward Looking Statement

Certain statements included in this news release containing words such as "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "plan", "intend", "estimate", "propose", "project" or similar words suggesting future outcomes or statements regarding an outlook and statements relating, but not limited, to the environmental and societal benefits of producing cleaner base and strategic metals, the scale and nature of the multi-metal deposits, completion of key environmental and engineering milestones, completion and timing of five marine cruises, the collection of polymetallic nodules for metallurgical test work, Maersk Supply Service's contribution, the conversion to common shares, and the feasibility of recovering seafloor nodules, may constitute forward looking statements or forward looking information under applicable securities legislation.

These forward looking statements are subject to a variety of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied, including, without limitation, the following: changes to the costs of the marine cruises; amendment or termination of the marine cruises; unable to realize the benefits from Maersk Supply Service's technical support as described herein; failure to complete baseline studies, collect polymetallic nodules, maximize metal recovery, produce cleaner base and strategic metals and undertake trials of DeepGreen's nodule harvesting technology in a timely manner (or at all). Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list is not exhaustive of all possible risks and uncertainties.

The forward looking statements or information contained in this news release are made as of the date hereof and DeepGreen undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward looking statements or information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise unless required by applicable securities laws. The forward looking statements or information contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.

 

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EPA PROPOSING TO PUSH OUT THEIR SEABED MINING DECISION UNTIL JUNE

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EPA PROPOSING TO PUSH OUT THEIR SEABED MINING DECISION UNTIL JUNE

Source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/90516046/epa-proposing-to-push-out-their-seabed-mining-decision-until-june

A decision on Trans-Tasman Resources' application to extract iron ore from seabed off South Taranaki may be pushed back to June.

The EPA's decision-making committee was supposed to finish on March 20, but it has put out a proposal to continue hearings until May 8, because there were a number of evidential matters still to be addressed. It then has 20 days to make its decision.

An EPA spokeswoman said the changed schedule was just a proposal.

"It will be confirmed when parties have provided feedback and the decision-making committee have had a chance to review the feedback."

 

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CHINA DEPLOYS EXPLORATION SUBMERSIBLE IN HUNT FOR INDIAN OCEAN MINERALS

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CHINA DEPLOYS EXPLORATION SUBMERSIBLE IN HUNT FOR INDIAN OCEAN MINERALS

Source: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/china-exploratory-submersible-indian-ocean-minerals/1/876589.html

China has taken the lead in exploring the Indian Ocean for minerals, securing a 2011 contract with the International Seabed Authority for the exclusive right to explore for valuable sulphide minerals.

China on Monday deployed its undersea exploratory submersible to hunt for much sought-after mineral deposits in the Indian Ocean in what will be its longest-ever deployment.

DETAILS ABOUT THE EXPLORATION

  1. China has taken the lead in exploring the Indian Ocean for minerals, securing a 2011 contract with the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for the exclusive right to explore for valuable sulphide minerals in a vast area of the southern Indian Ocean.

  2. The latest exploration, which set off on Monday from the port of Qingdao, will focus on the northwest Indian Ocean, and also explore the South China Sea and the western Pacific Ocean. India is currently carrying out explorations in the central Indian Ocean for minerals.

  3. The Indian Ocean contains vast deposits of minerals and strategically important Rare Earth Elements (REEs), prompting a number of countries including India to carry out exploration projects.

  4. While the International Seabed Authority has not yet paved the way for exploiting minerals, securing exploration contracts allows for exclusive exploration rights. Besides the Indian Ocean contract, China has two other exploration contracts in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

  5. India so far has one exploration contract in the Indian Ocean, which is thought to be less explored than the Pacific. India is also developing its own under-sea submersible that, like the Jiaolong, can reach depths of 7,000 metres.

  6. The Jiaolong's 124-day trip until June 9 will be the longest for the submersible. In 2015, the submersible carried out a 118-day stay, during which it gathered 700 samples and discovered "an active chimney vent" on the Indian Ocean floor, which is thought to contain deposits of gold, silver, copper and zinc.

  7. He Zongyu, the Deputy Director of the China Ocean Mineral Resource Research and Development Association (COMRA) that is leading the country's exploration effort, told India Today that a 2015 survey suggested the Indian Ocean carried vast mineral deposits.

  8. Countries like Japan, Germany and China have aggressively gone forward with seeking exploration contracts, particularly because of the prevalence of Rare Earth Elements that are crucial for a range of technologies ranging from computers and mobile phones to defence industries. China already controls more than 90 per cent of rare earth production on land.

 

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ISA ISSUES DISCUSSION PAPER ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF “ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS” FOR EXPLOITATION IN THE AREA

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ISA ISSUES DISCUSSION PAPER ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF “ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS” FOR EXPLOITATION IN THE AREA

Source: https://www.isa.org.jm/news/isa-issues-discussion-paper-development-%E2%80%9Cenvironmental-regulations%E2%80%9D-exploitation-area

JAMAICA, Kingston (25 January 2017) - - The International Seabed Authority today issued a Discussion Paper to advance stakeholder discussion in connection with the development and drafting of Regulations on Exploitation for Mineral Resources in the Area (Environmental Matters) – so-named “Environmental Regulations”.

The Discussion Paper sets out the background to the drafting process, including the approach taken and a presentation of the issues and challenges arising for further consideration. The Paper also includes a first, but tentative, working draft of the Environmental Regulations as a starting point for subsequent discussion with the Authority’s stakeholder base.

The Discussion Paper and first working draft will be presented to the Legal and Technical Commission for consideration at its first meeting of the 23rd Session of the Authority between 20 February and 3 March 2017. Following this meeting, a consultation document, including the working draft, will be issued taking into account the views of the Commission.

At this point, the Commission will formally invite members of the Authority and all stakeholders to comment on the consultation paper and working draft Environmental Regulations issued by the Commission. It is also expected that consideration of the working draft and its regulatory language will form the principal item for discussion at an international workshop on the ISA Environmental Management Strategy for the Area to be held in Berlin, Germany from 19-24 March 2017.

At the February meeting, the Commission will also consider stakeholder submissions received in connection with the working draft of the “Exploitation Regulations” issued for stakeholder comment in July 2016. 

Any revised working draft, reflecting such submissions and observations of the Commission will be made available to stakeholders following the Commission’s meeting, together with the Commission’s proposals in respect of the next steps towards regulatory development.

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CHATHAM, DELTARES, BOSKALIS RECEIVE DUTCH GOVERNMENT GRANT

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CHATHAM, DELTARES, BOSKALIS RECEIVE DUTCH GOVERNMENT GRANT

Source: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1612/S00240/chatham-deltares-boskalis-receive-dutch-government-grant.htm

Chatham Rock Phosphate and its Dutch technical partners Boskalis and Deltares have received Dutch government research funding to improve the environmental management of marine mining. This co-funding has been awarded by The Netherlands based Topsector Water TKI Delta technology.

The increased global interest in the economic and environmental outcomes of marine mining for resources such as phosphate, manganese nodules and polymetallic sulphides has highlighted the need to develop tools and methods to predict, adaptively manage and reduce the environmental effects of marine mining.

Lack of field observations
Adapting computer-modelling tools to predict plume dispersion for deep-sea mining (or dredging) operations is hampered by a lack of field observations in these environments. 
It is possible to validate hydrodynamic and sediment resuspension models by deploying sensors for field observations over several months. Validating the predicted sediment plume dispersion is much more difficult as it requires a large-scale source of suspended material in the water such as trial mining. Trial mining requires an environmental permit, which usually requires knowledge of the sediment plume behaviour.

The research project will investigate the behaviour of re-deposited material using a combination of state of the art laboratory analyses and computer modelling to assess both the plume dispersion and the continuous process of settling, deposition and bed formation of sand and silt. The results will reduce the uncertainties regarding predicting re-suspension and dispersion of the material being returned to the seabed.

Ways to adaptively manage re-deposited sand and silt
This jointly developed project will make computer models of plume dispersion more realistic and will look at ways to adaptively manage re-deposited sand and silt in deep water. Additionally, the project will investigate the use of flocculants, natural materials that can be added to the returned sand and silt to make the sediment plume settle from the water more quickly. This may be the first time flocculants have been considered for deep water mining or dredging

Public-private partnerships
The Dutch Ministry for Economic Affairs stimulates public-private partnerships between research organizations and companies in the Topsector Water TKI Delta technology by allocating and awarding funds to reviewed high quality research proposals. Deltares is an independent institute for applied research in the field of water, subsurface and infrastructure, and Boskalis is a marine services company. Chatham Rock Phosphate intends to apply for a marine consent to extract rock phosphate from the seabed on the Chatham Rise, east of New Zealand.

The results are being developed using the vast amount of data already available for the Chatham Rise marine mining project, but will have direct relevance to all projects in the offshore mining and dredging industry

Chris Castle
CEO
Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited

 

About Deltares
Deltares is an independent institute for applied research in the field of water and subsurface. Throughout the world, we work on smart solutions, innovations and applications for people, environment and society. Our main focus is on deltas, coastal regions and river basins. Managing these densely populated and vulnerable areas is complex, which is why we work closely with governments, businesses, other research institutes and universities at home and abroad. Our motto is Enabling Delta Life. As an applied research institute, the success of Deltares can be measured in the extent to which our expert knowledge can be used in and for society. For Deltares the quality of our expertise and advice comes first.


About Royal Boskalis Westminster
Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. is a leading global services provider operating in the dredging, maritime infrastructure and maritime services sectors. The company provides creative and innovative all-round solutions to infrastructural challenges in the maritime, coastal and delta regions of the world with services including the construction and maintenance of ports and waterways, land reclamation, coastal defense and riverbank protection. In addition, Boskalis offers a wide variety of marine services and contracting for the oil and gas sector and offshore wind industry as well as salvage solutions (SMIT Salvage). Furthermore, Boskalis has a number of strategic partnerships in harbour towage and terminal services (KOTUG SMIT Towage, Keppel Smit Towage, Saam Smit Towage and Smit Lamnalco). With a versatile fleet of 1,000 units Boskalis operates in around 75 countries across six continents. Boskalis has over 8,200 employees, excluding its share in partnerships.

About Chatham Rock Phosphate

Chatham Rock Phosphate, a publicly listed company, was granted a mining permit in 2013 to develop New Zealand’s only significant source of environmentally friendly pastoral phosphate fertiliser and is now preparing for a revised environmental consent application.

Our role as custodian of this resource is focused on delivering a secure and sustainable local supply of low-cadmium phosphate that will reduce fertiliser run-off into waterways, produce healthier soils and shrink fertiliser needs over time.

The resource has an estimated worth of $5 to $7 billion, representing one of New Zealand’s most valuable mineral assets and is of huge strategic significance because phosphate is essential to maintain New Zealand’s high agricultural productivity. Local and international investors have contributed more than $40 million to develop the project’s financial viability, environmental benefits and impacts, technical and logistical requirements, local and international product uses.

We propose to extract up to 1.5 million tonnes of phosphate nodules from the top half metre of sand on identified parts of an 820km2 area on the Chatham Rise, 450km off the west coast of New Zealand, in waters of 400m. Our environmental consenting process has established extraction would have no material impact on fishing yields or profitability, marine mammals or seabirds.
In progressing plans to submit a new application we are working with government officials to seek improvement in the permitting process and iwi, academic, industry and central government input to ensure New Zealand can benefit from an environmentally superior phosphate source. 
Progress is continuing to achieve a Toronto Stock Exchange listing, to provide a more useful share-trading platform for overseas shareholders and facilitate the capital raising needed for the consenting process and beyond.
We are also seeking to own other sustainable rock phosphate sources, to move from being a single project company and take more control of our destiny.

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CHALLENGE TO PHOSPHATE LICENCE POSTPONED

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CHALLENGE TO PHOSPHATE LICENCE POSTPONED

Source: http://www.namibian.com.na/48641/read/Challenge-to-phosphate-licence-postponed

THE legal attack on the environmental clearance certificate and mining licence granted to a company intending to carry out a controversial plan to do seabed phosphate mining off the Namibian coast is due to proceed in the High Court in Windhoek next year.
The case in which three organisations representing the Namibian fishing industry are asking the High Court to review and set aside a decision to grant an environmental clearance certificate to the company Namibia Marine Phosphate (NMP), and also to declare that a mining licence issued to the company is invalid, was postponed by judge Harald Geier yesterday.

A case management hearing on the matter is scheduled to take place before judge Geier on 24 January, by when the parties involved in the case should indicate to the court how the litigation between them should proceed.

Lawyer Sisa Namandje, who is representing the Confederation of Namibian Fishing Associations, the Namibian Hake Association, the Midwater Trawling Association of Namibia, and the company Omualu Fishing, informed judge Geier yesterday that the four applicants would not be proceeding with the first part of their case against NMP, the environmental commissioner, the ministers of environment and tourism, fisheries and marine resources, and mines and energy, and the attorney general, in light of a decision by minister of environment and tourism Pohamba Shifeta on 2 November to set aside the environmental clearance certificate that the environmental commissioner granted to NMP on 5 September this year.

In that first part of the case the applicants were asking the court to order that the decision to grant an environmental clearance certificate to NMP may not be implemented until the remainder of their case had been finalised. 

They were also asking the court to issue an interdict stopping NMP from carrying out any activities based on the certificate while the rest of the case – in which the focus will be on a legal attack against the environmental clearance certificate and mining licence issued to NMP – is still pending.

In documents filed at the court, the three fishing industry organisations and Omualu Fishing are arguing that the entire process leading to the granting of the environmental clearance certificate to NMP – a step that was met with a public outcry when it became known last month – was “fundamentally flawed”, as various material and mandatory provisions of the Environmental Management Act of 2007 were not complied with. 

Part of their argument is that a 20-year mining licence issued to NMP in July 2011 became invalid after NMP failed to comply with one of the conditions attached to that licence, which was that the company had to provide the Ministry of Mines and Energy with an environmental impact assessment report within six months after the licence was issued.

The four applicants are also arguing that, if the mining licence did not lapse in January 2012 as claimed by them, it ceased to be valid a year after the Environmental Management Act came into operation in February 2012. 

In their view, the act stipulates that anyone wishing to continue with activities like ocean phosphate mining in terms of a licence issued to them must have applied for an environmental clearance certificate within a year after the act came into operation. 

This NMP did not do, they are claiming.

NMP, which was represented by lawyer Charles Visser in court yesterday, has given notice that it will be opposing the application by the four applicants. 

The minister of mines and energy was the only other respondent that was represented in court yesterday. Government lawyer Tinashe Chibwana appeared on behalf of the minister.

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