NEW YORK, May 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TMC the metals company Inc. (Nasdaq: TMC) ("TMC" or "The Metals Company"), an explorer of lower-impact battery metals from seafloor polymetallic nodules, today released its first Impact Report detailing the Company's past, present and expected future ESG impacts, while providing insight into the drivers of its efforts to collect nodules from the CCZ including the global scramble to meet an estimated six-fold increase in the production of metals required for the energy transition.
The report provides a forward-looking view of the impacts of TMC's expected operations and its efforts to reduce or eliminate these before a single nodule is commercially collected, in line with the Company's focus on creating a net-positive planetary impact. The report outlines the case for polymetallic nodules in the CCZ as an alternative, large-scale supply of potentially lower-impact nickel, cobalt, copper and manganese, as compared with terrestrial sources, and outlines the Company's goal of using nodule-derived metals to build up recyclable stocks of battery materials as the basis of a future circular metals economy.
Gerard Barron, CEO & Chairman of The Metals Company, said: "To build a green future, our generation will need to mine more metal than we have mined in our entire history. This will lead to more emissions, more social displacement, more habitat destruction and more biodiversity loss. The questions are: How much? Where? Who will bear the brunt of the ESG costs? Can we afford it? Can the planet? Working through these trade-offs will require realism, pragmatism and some courage. In this inaugural Impact Report, we share how we intend to navigate these choppy waters and give stakeholders a full picture of who we are, why we exist, and how we plan to execute our mission."
Erica Ocampo, Chief Sustainability Officer of The Metals Company, said: "We share the vision set forward by the U.N. SDGs of a thriving world for all. By openly providing the information in this report we are inviting a dialogue to help drive solutions that will bring that vision to life. With nodules in international waters considered the common heritage of humankind, TMC is committed to putting the resource to work for generations to come and we welcome partnerships, including those with unlikely allies, because now is the time to act to create the future that we want."
TMC's Impact Report also details the Company's corporate structure and governance, the partnerships with its Pacific Island sponsoring states, the regulatory regime governing the international waters of the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ); as well as TMC's strategy to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Presented on behalf of TMC and its subsidiaries, the report covers the Company's offshore exploration activities and onshore processing trials from 2012 until December 31, 2021 and also serves as the Company's U.N. Global Compact Communication of Progress for 2021.
For positive impacts to date, The Metals Company has focussed on:
Advancing deep-sea ecosystem knowledge
TMC is contributing knowledge of the deep ocean through a comprehensive environmental program, which analyses areas of the CCZ from the surface down through the water column to the abyssal plain. In 2021, TMC completed five environmental campaigns in partnership with world-leading ocean scientists. The data collected is expected to inform hundreds of peer-reviewed studies in the years to come and will be made available through the ISA's public environmental database.
Improving operational visibility for all stakeholders
TMC entered into an agreement with Kongsberg Digital on the development of its Digital Twin and Adaptive Management System to provide 3D visualization of the deep-sea operating environment and enable operations to stay within ecological thresholds. While the nodule resource lies in perpetual darkness three miles deep, these systems will enable the Company to collect nodules in clear sight of both the regulator and stakeholders.
Contributing to peer-reviewed scientific literature
When it comes to extracting the raw materials needed to combat climate change, most current solutions present themselves as difficult trade-offs. In 2021, TMC contributed to the discussion as to where these metals should come from by commissioning and publishing two peer-reviewed research papers in high-impact journals, considering both the solid waste streams from producing critical minerals and the opportunities for ethically sourcing critical metals from nodules collected from the CCZ.
Building tomorrow's STEM pipeline
From secondary school scholarships to technical training to undergraduate and graduate scholarships, TMC is fostering STEM education in its sponsoring and developing states, with a particular emphasis in promoting women's participation in these opportunities. In 2022, TMC is supporting nine students (eight undergraduates and one postgraduate) in their studies at the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Suva, Fiji, through its scholarship program, and two students have graduated with Bachelor's degrees to date. Through its scholarship programs, the Company is currently supporting nine secondary school scholarships in Tonga and has provided 10 technical training scholarships at the Tonga Maritime Polytechnic Institute between 2020-2021. The Company is currently supporting nine undergraduate scholarships and one master's level scholarship at USP.
Reducing lifecycle impacts of nodule processing
In 2021, TMC found a way to reduce the consumption of metallurgical coal during the pyrometallurgical processing phase by at least 10%, as part of the validation process for its near-zero solid waste processing flowsheet.
Supporting sponsoring state communities
Through its community grant programs, TMC supported 16 community-led initiatives and sponsorships in Nauru and 16 community-led initiatives in Tonga, focussed on five themes: ocean health and the environment; women's empowerment; youth initiatives; sanitation and water; and healthy living and food security. In 2021, these projects included the planting of mangroves, a powerlifting championship and waste management programs.
Focusing on gender parity in the boardroom, targeted among workforce
With just 3% of S&P 500 companies' boards comprised of 50% or more women today, TMC joined a small but rapidly growing number of companies delivering on 50% gender parity goals with the appointment of Kathleen McAllister to its board. Across its wider workforce, 35% hail from racially diverse backgrounds and 32% of TMC staff are female.
Strengthening oversight of ESG performance
TMC is developing a governance structure that firmly embeds ESG topics into its business and has established a Sustainability & Innovation Committee at the Board level to oversee and review the Company's Sustainability and Innovation objectives as well as hired a Chief Sustainability Officer, Erica Ocampo, to establish and shepherd TMC's strategic framework on sustainability.
TMC's 2021 Impact Report was prepared using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards as guidance. In addition to GRI, the report references additional frameworks including the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) for the minerals and mining sector.
To download TMC's 2021 Impact Report, click here.
About The Metals Company
The Metals Company is an explorer of lower-impact battery metals from seafloor polymetallic nodules, on a dual mission: (1) supply metals for the clean energy transition with the least possible negative environmental and social impact and (2) accelerate the transition to a circular metal economy. The Company through its subsidiaries holds exploration and commercial rights to three polymetallic nodule contract areas in the Clarion Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean regulated by the International Seabed Authority and sponsored by the governments of Nauru, Kiribati and the Kingdom of Tonga.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements made in this press release are not historical facts but are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements generally are accompanied by words such as "believe," "may," "will," "estimate," "continue," "anticipate," "intend," "expect," "should," "would," "plan," "predict," "potential," "seem," "seek," "future," "outlook" and similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, without limitation, statements regarding a net positive planetary impact, the development of and build up of a recyclable stock of battery metals or a circular economy for such battery metals. These forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Most of these factors are outside TMC's control and are difficult to predict. Factors that may cause such differences include, but are not limited to: regulatory uncertainties and the impact of government regulation and political instability on TMC's resource activities; changes to any of the laws, rules, regulations or policies to which TMC is subject; the impact of extensive and costly environmental requirements on TMC's operations; environmental liabilities; the impact of polymetallic nodule collection on biodiversity in the Clarion Clipperton Zone and recovery rates of impacted ecosystems; TMC's ability to develop minerals in sufficient grade or quantities to justify commercial operations; the lack of development of seafloor polymetallic nodule deposit; uncertainty in the estimates for mineral resource calculations from certain contract areas and for the grade and quality of polymetallic nodule deposits; risks associated with natural hazards; uncertainty with respect to the specialized treatment and processing of polymetallic nodules that TMC may recover; risks associated with collective, development and processing operations; fluctuations in transportation costs; testing and manufacturing of equipment, including software and hardware needed to support the collection, transport and processing of nodules, including the Digital Twin and the AMS; risks associated with TMC's limited operating history; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; risks associated with TMC's intellectual property and the validity, use and ownership of any new technology or intellectual property subsisting therein; and other risks and uncertainties indicated from time to time in the Company's Form 10Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on May 9, 2022, including those under "Risk Factors" therein, and in TMC's other future filings with the SEC. TMC cautions that the foregoing list of factors is not exclusive. TMC cautions readers not to place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. TMC does not undertake or accept any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect any change in its expectations or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which any such statement is based except as required by law.
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