President Baron Waqa said he believes plans to explore the seafloor in partnership with DeepGreen Resources will bring great benefits.
“My government continues to look for other revenue sources for Nauru. Not just now, for the future. This venture with DeepGreen will ensure that our revenue will be well diversified for our children and their children well into the future,” he said.
The operation to harvest metal rich nodules which have been labelled the new oil is seen as essential to providing a sustainable future. The nodules with nickel, cobalt, manganese and copper have been discovered in great abundance during initial explorations.
CEO of DeepGreen Resources Gerard Barron says, “They’re the metals we need to build electric vehicle batteries, to build renewable energy storage, to build electricity generating windmills and solar panels. At DeepGreen we call them metals for our future.”
A team of 38 technicians have carried out a two month campaign at sea to survey and map the seafloor and collect samples of nodules. The 75,000 square kilometre zone being searched is in international waters between Hawaii and Mexico, an area of more than three and a half thousand times the size of Nauru.
DeepGreen plans to conduct a total of seven exploration campaigns. The latest, which has returned positive results, was their third.
Whilst technology to harvest and process the nodules is currently in development, Nauru is benefiting thanks to scholarships provided by DeepGreen who will also be offering employment and training during future offshore campaigns.