A former drillship is being converted to an ABS-Classed subsea mining vessel, in an industry first. Allseas’ 228-meter Hidden Gem is being equipped with a deep-sea mineral collection system to recover polymetallic nodules from the ocean floor and transfer them to the surface for transportation to shore.
The nodules contain high grades of nickel, manganese, copper and cobalt—key metals required for building electric vehicle batteries and renewable energy technologies.
In partnership with The Metals Company, Allseas is developing the pioneering project entirely to their own, unique specifications, including a wholly self-designed subsea vertical transport system, a subsea collection vehicle, and a surface nodule handling and storage system. The vessel will become the first to be classed as a subsea mining vessel by ABS.
“This is a groundbreaking project that is advancing the frontiers of this emerging industry, which has such a vital role to play in supporting how the global market sources and manufactures sustainable technologies. The seabed is among the richest known sources for these vital metals, and we are proud to be able to support this approach to safely recovering them,” said Matt Tremblay, ABS Vice President, Global Offshore.
The ABS Guide for Subsea Mining published in 2020, is the only international standard addressing design, construction and operations of subsea mineral collection equipment.