TMC Commends U.S. House of Representatives for Allocating Defense Funding to Assess the Feasibility of Domestic Nodule Refining Capacity

23.05.24 15:05 Uhr

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  • As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the House version of the fiscal year 2025 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) calls for $2 million allocated to the Defense Department’s Industrial Base Policy Office to study the feasibility of developing domestic capacity to refine polymetallic nodule-derived intermediates to high-purity nickel, copper and cobalt products. The legislation also proposes to examine existing supply chains for such intermediates.
  • In addition, TMC's U.S. subsidiary has an outstanding application seeking a $9 million grant under the Pentagon’s Defense Production Act Title III program for feasibility work on a domestic refinery for nodule-derived intermediate products.
  • With TMC’s commercial-scale nodule collection from its NORI-D Area targeted to begin at the end of Q1 2026 and a binding memorandum of understanding in place with Pacific Metals Co. of Japan for primary processing, the prospect of refining the resulting NiCuCo intermediate product to high-purity products in the United States could bolster domestic production of clean energy, infrastructure and defense technologies.

NEW YORK, May 23, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TMC The Metals Company Inc. (Nasdaq: TMC) ("TMC” or the "Company”), an explorer of the world’s largest estimated undeveloped source of critical battery metals, today welcomed the introduction of legislation by the U.S. House of Representatives calling for financial support from the Defense Department’s Industrial Base Policy office to "assess the feasibility of improving domestic capabilities for refining polymetallic nodule-derived intermediates into high-purity nickel, cobalt sulfate, and copper.”

Led by the House Armed Services Committee, the proposed legislation would support the realization of nickel refining capacity in the United States, to build resilient supply chains and revitalize American manufacturing per Executive Order 14017. A wide variety of Congress members and former military officials have urged the Administration to consider polymetallic nodules as a component of its national critical mineral strategy.

TMC CEO and Chairman, Gerard Barron, commented: "This is a big step in the right direction for the United States towards securing a stable supply of responsibly-sourced critical minerals. The U.S. House of Representatives has, through the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2025, designated $2 million for feasibility work for developing domestic polymetallic nodule intermediate refining capacity to produce high-purity nickel, cobalt, and copper. TMC remains acutely focused on starting production through our capital-light approach utilizing existing assets, but this encouraging policy action lays the foundation for the U.S. to catch up to China in the critical minerals race and establish metal independence.”

In addition, TMC's U.S. subsidiary has an outstanding application seeking a $9 million grant under the Pentagon’s Defense Production Act Title III program for feasibility work on a domestic refinery for nodule-derived intermediate products. If the outcome is favorable, TMC’s U.S. subsidiary may pursue larger grants and/or loans through the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office, Export-Import Bank and other departments to fund construction of a refinery later this decade.

In March, TMC welcomed the introduction of the Responsible Use of Seafloor Resources Act (RUSRA) by members of the House of Representatives calling for the U.S. to "support international governance of seafloor resource exploration and responsible polymetallic nodule collection by allied partners” and to "provide financial, diplomatic, or other forms of support for seafloor nodule collection, processing and refining.” That same month, TMC also applauded a letter from around 350 former U.S. government officials and military officers - including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - urging the U.S. Senate to re-evaluate a formal vote on ratifying the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) treaty. Earlier, congressional leaders and several members of the House Armed Services Committee urged President Biden to assess domestic processing of seafloor polymetallic nodules as a means to secure key energy transition metals and "close national security vulnerabilities.” Within the last month, two contractors sponsored by the government of China announced plans to conduct nodule collection trials in 2025 in international waters.

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 global energy transition with the least possible negative impacts on planet and people and (2) trace, recover and recycle the metals we supply to help create a metals commons that can be used in perpetuity. 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. More information is available at www.metals.co.

Contacts
Media | media@metals.co
Investors | investors@metals.co

Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking” statements and information within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may be identified by words such as "aims,” "anticipates,” "believes,” "could,” "estimates,” "expects,” "forecasts,” "goal,” "intends,” "may,” "plans,” "possible,” "potential,” "seeks,” "will” and variations of these words or similar expressions, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, TMC’s expectations with respect to a successful grant application under the Pentagon’s Defense Production Act Title III program for feasibility work on a domestic refinery for nodule-derived intermediate products . The Company may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in these forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions and expectations disclosed in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including, among other things: the Company’s strategies and future financial performance; the International Seabed Authority’s ("ISA”) ability to timely adopt the Mining Code and/or willingness to review and/or approve a plan of work for exploitation under the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS); the Company’s ability to obtain exploitation contracts or approved plans of work for exploitation for its areas in the Clarion Clipperton Zone; regulatory uncertainties and the impact of government regulation and political instability on the Company’s resource activities; changes to any of the laws, rules, regulations or policies to which the Company is subject, including the terms of the final Mining Code, if any, adopted by ISA and the potential timing thereof; the impact of extensive and costly environmental requirements on the Company’s operations; environmental liabilities; the impact of polymetallic nodule collection on biodiversity in the Clarion Clipperton Zone and recovery rates of impacted ecosystems; the Company’s ability to develop minerals in sufficient grade or quantities to justify commercial operations; the lack of development of seafloor polymetallic nodule deposit; the Company’s ability to successfully enter into binding agreements with Allseas Group S.A. and other parties in which it is in discussions, if any; 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 the Company may recover; risks associated with collective, development and processing operations, including with respect to the development of onshore processing capabilities and capacity and Allseas Group S.A.’s expected development efforts with respect to the Project Zero offshore system; the Company’s dependence on Allseas Group S.A.; fluctuations in transportation costs; fluctuations in metals prices; testing and manufacturing of equipment; risks associated with the Company’s limited operating history, limited cash resources and need for additional financing; risks associated with the Company’s intellectual property; Low Carbon Royalties’ limited operating history and other risks and uncertainties, any of which could cause the Company’s actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, that are described in greater detail in the section entitled "Risk Factors” in TMC’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023 filed with the SEC on March 25, 2024, as amended. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and the Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein, whether because of any new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law.


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