Manganese extraction from deep-sea polymetallic nodules – 2022

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Resting on the ocean floor at 4,000 to 6,000 m depth are billions of tonnes of polymetallic nodules (also called Manganese nodules), containing manganese copper, nickel and cobalt (the “battery metals” that electric vehicle producers warned may soon be in short supply). Several companies target extraction of metals from polymetallic nodules to power electric vehicles, including US companies Lockheed Martin and The Metals Company (which both hope to start commercial harvesting in 2024). Manganese would be a by-product as these companies first target production of expensive battery metals like cobalt, nickel and copper, but if these projects materialise, the volume of Manganese silicate produced would be very large, and its impact on the global Manganese industry would be significant.