On Sunday, world leaders arrived in Scotland for the U.N. Climate Change Conference.
For two weeks these leaders will discuss how they can limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.
The 2-degree goal will require drastic transitions to green tech like electric vehicles (EVs).
According to Wood Mackenzie, these transitions will result in massive demand for EV metals.
The world will require 130% more lithium than it’s projected to produce in 2030, and 167% more cobalt.
But opening additional mines to fill this demand comes with risks such as deforestation.
So, where will the world get these metals from?
One potential answer is…
A Massive Untapped Resource in the Ocean
There are regions of the ocean with massive quantities of mineral deposits called “nodules.”
Each of these nodules contains cobalt, copper and much more.
And the best part is there’s no heavy mining or drilling involved.
These nodules cover the ocean bed, and anyone can just pick them up.
According to a Nature Geoscience study, the ocean deposits of most metals are much larger than the deposits found on land.
Just take a look at the Clarion-Clipperton Zone. It’s a 1.7-million-square-mile region of the Pacific Ocean.
(Source: Mexico News Daily.)
There’s more manganese, nickel and cobalt in just this zone than all the deposits on land combined.
The Future of Sea-Bed Mining Is Closer Than You Think
Collecting these nodules isn’t some far-flung idea.
There are companies that are eager to tap into this resource.
That includes big names like Lockheed Martin and Nautilus Minerals.
These companies are conducting studies on how to tackle this problem.
The Metals Company and Allseas are already involved as well.
They’re modifying old oil drilling ships to collect these nodules. These ships are set to launch in 2022.
Trends Market Research expects this industry to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 37.1%.
At that rate, it will be a $15.3 billion industry by 2030.
What’s Next for Underwater Mining
The International Seabed Authority (ISA) has been studying this issue for over a decade.
The ISA was supposed to have regulations for companies ready by the end of 2020. But the pandemic delayed this process until 2022.
However, the ISA hasn’t been idle in this time.
It has issued permits to 30 companies to begin mining in several sites.
These sites currently act as the testing grounds for various extraction techniques.
The ISA has called a series of meetings for its 168 member countries in December.
The outcomes from these meetings will give us a better idea what’s next for this new industry.
And you can be sure we’ll be tracking these developments at Winning Investor Daily.
But if you don’t like waiting, check out Ian King’s Strategic Fortunes service. It gives you a way to invest in the future of EV metals today.
Research Analyst, Strategic Fortunes
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