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The Metals Company, SGS make world’s first cobalt sulphate from seafloor nodules

The Metals Company (Nasdaq: TMC) announced on Wednesday that it has successfully produced the world’s first cobalt sulphate derived exclusively from seafloor polymetallic nodules.

The cobalt sulphate was generated during bench-scale testing of TMC’s hydrometallurgical flowsheet design with SGS Canada at its facility in Lakefield, Ontario.

The tests were done on samples of nickel-cobalt-copper matte first produced by TMC in 2021 using the company’s flowsheet. The high-grade cobalt sulphate was made directly, without the need to first make cobalt metal. No solid waste or tailings were produced. Only fertilizer byproducts were created.

“This achievement further demonstrates the potential for seafloor polymetallic nodules as a valuable resource,” said Dr. Jeffrey Donald, TMC’s head of onshore development.

“Following the success of our first nickel sulphate production in April, production of the world’s first cobalt sulphate from deep-seafloor nodules is another important milestone for TMC and for creating a responsible supply of metals required for human flourishing.”

In April, TMC and SGS produced the world’s first nickel sulphate directly from seafloor polymetallic nodules.

TMC collected nodules from the Nori project in the Clarion-Clipperton zone of the Pacific Ocean between Mexico and Hawaii in 2022. It returned to the site late last year to examine the effects of disturbing the seafloor – plume dynamics, concentration and dispersal. The company reported that the observed data indicated the plume is low-lying, and the mud is influence by gravity and the contours of the seafloor rather than the ocean currents.

TMC hopes to begin commercial mining by late-2025.

Source: MINING.COM – Read More