Deep-sea mining: DeepGreen merging with SOAC

Deep-ocean polymetallic nodules exploration company DeepGreen Metals intends to go public in a merger deal with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

The company has entered into a definitive business combination agreement with US-based Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corporation (SOAC).

As a result, the transaction will value the combined company at $2.9 billion, which will be renamed “TMC the metals company Inc.” and operate as The Metals Company upon closing.

The transaction also includes an upsized $330 million investment from international consortium of strategic and institutional investors, including Allseas, Maersk Supply Service and Glencore.

The combined company will have approximately $570 million in cash facilitating plans for The Metals Company to start commercial production of battery metals as soon as 2024.

According to DeepGreen, the final merger should take place in the second quarter.

The combined entity will continue to be led by Gerard Barron, DeepGreen chairman and CEO. Scott Leonard, CEO of SOAC, will also join the board of The Metals Company.

DeepGreen CEO, Gerard Barron, explains:

“The reality is that the clean energy transition is not possible without taking billions of tons of metal from the planet. Seafloor nodules offer a way to dramatically reduce the environmental bill of this extraction. We are getting into this industry with a deep commitment to ocean health and a clear stop date in mind.

“The plan is simple: produce better metals to supply the EV transition, while building up enough metal stock to stop extracting from the planet and enable society to live off recycled metals.”

Scott Leonard, CEO of SOAC, also noted that sourcing battery metals is the biggest hurdle facing the clean energy transition, and the pipeline of new mining projects on land is insufficient to meet rising demand.

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