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U.S. Senators Push for UNCLOS Ratification as Members of Congress Call for ISA to Adopt Seafloor Mining Regulations

  • Led by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), a bipartisan coalition re-introduced a resolution calling on the U.S. Senate to ratify the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which details the rights and responsibilities of countries regarding the world’s oceans, including “the management of marine natural resources.”
  • At the close of part III of the International Seabed Authority’s 28th session this month, twelve Members of Congress expressed support to the ISA for the adoption by 2025 “of regulations allowing for the collection of critical minerals from the international seabed area.”
  • Members of Congress also wrote to the U.S. Department of Defense “urging fair consideration” of TMC subsidiary NORI’s application for a Defense Production Act grant to perform feasibility work regarding potential critical mineral processing facilities in Texas.

NEW YORK, Nov. 21, 2023 (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 commends an initiative by U.S. Senators for the country to ratify UNCLOS — which it signed in 1982 but has since failed to ratify — in part to assert a leadership role in the global effort to govern the high seas and shore up supply chains for the critical battery materials required for the energy transition.

“The longer we sit out, the longer the rest of world will continue to set the agenda of maritime domain, from seabed mining to critical subsea infrastructure,” said Arctic Caucus Co-Chair Senator Murkowski in a press release. “It is time for America to not just join the world at the table, but to make sure we are helping to set the rules going forward.”

At the close of part III of the ISA’s 28th session earlier this month, twelve members of congress, led by Rep Wesley Hunt (R-TX), wrote a letter to ISA Secretary-General, Michael Lodge, as well as Council President Juan José González Mijares and Assembly President Fanday Turay, in which they called upon the ISA to adopt rules, regulations and procedures to govern deep-sea nodule collection which, they note, offer “a safe and environmentally responsible means for meeting societal needs for advanced materials and energy storage technologies without the taint of forced labor, slavery, or child labor abuses.”

TMC CEO & Chairman Gerard Barron said, “It’s encouraging to hear policymakers calling for the world’s largest economy to play an active role in shaping the rules for the responsible development of marine resources in the high seas. The U.S. faces an acute shortage of domestic supply and processing of critical lithium-ion battery cathode materials like cobalt, nickel and manganese. We recognize the longer-term opportunity that polymetallic nodules represent for the U.S. and — whether the country ultimately ratifies UNLCOS or not — we will continue to work with American policymakers, companies and researchers to determine a role for nodules in achieving the country's clean energy ambitions.”

In November, five Members of the US House of Representatives from Texas urged the Department of Defense to support the use of federal resources under the Defense Authorization Act towards a bankable feasibility study for nodule processing along the Texas Gulf Coast. In a letter to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy, Laura D. Taylor-Kale, the members wrote: “Securing the U.S. critical mineral supply chain is a national security imperative. To counter China’s growing hold on the global supply chain, it is essential that the United States secure its own innovative supply of critical metals. The applicant seems to have the ability to produce battery-grade materials at commercial facilities in North America at pilot scale. The scope of the submission focuses solely on U.S. processing and appears to offer the Department of Defense the opportunity to re-shore critical mineral supply lines.”

Over recent years, TMC has welcomed letters from Congressional Leaders including the House Armed Services Committee as well as former Military leaders urging the Biden Administration to assess domestic processing of seafloor polymetallic nodules as a means to secure key energy transition metals and “close national security vulnerabilities.” In March last year, Mr. Barron wrote to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, in which he noted, “Support from the U.S. Government for the development of the polymetallic nodules resource and TMC’s first project, NORI-D, would unlock access to the resource without overcoming legislative hurdles to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.”

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 the U.S. Senate’s ratification of UNCLOS. 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 ability to satisfy the closing conditions in the securities purchase agreement; the risk that the investors will not exercise the warrants issued or issuable as part of the Registered Offering; the Company’s ability to access additional funds under the unsecured credit facility, the ATM or otherwise; 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 for the year ended December 31, 2022, filed by TMC with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on March 27, 2023, as updated and/or supplemented by TMC’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2023, filed with the SEC on August 14, 2023, and in TMC’s other future filings with the SEC, including TMC’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2023, filed with the SEC on November 9, 2023. 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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