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Greenwash + Blank Check Company Environmental, Social, And Corporate Governance

DeepGreen Metals attempts environmental

to boost lagging

In a further attempt to
distance itself from the significant environmental and
social costs of deep sea mining, DeepGreen Metals merged
with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called
Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corp
Hard facts refute the claims of the new entity, The Metal
Company, that it will promote sustainable development and is
an Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
(ESG)-compatible investment.

Andy Whitmore,
Finance campaigner, Deep Sea Mining Campaign stated,
“there is nothing sustainable about the business model or
the extractive mining process proposed. The information
released by DeepGreen via its merger with SOAC raises
questions about the viability of this new venture in a
high-risk, experimental industry. The risks identified by
DeepGreen and SOAC include uncertainties about fundamental
nuts and bolts aspects such as the commercial and technical
feasibility of seafloor polymetallic nodule mining and
processing; the supply and demand for battery metals; the
future prices of battery metals; the uncertainty in mineral
resource estimates.”[2]

Whitmore continued, “This public float is very similar to
the method that the now bankrupt deep sea miner Nautilus
Minerals used to register on the Toronto Stock Exchange.[3]
DeepGreen founders, Gerard Barron and David Heydon were
early investors in Nautilus who departed prior to the
company’s downturn in fortunes,[4]
which left the Papua
New Government and other investors in debt
This method of public listing not only ensures less
transparency, but is also typical of start-up mining
companies, despite all the green spin”.

Dr. Helen
Rosenbaum, Coordinator, Deep Sea Mining Campaign explained,
“Let’s be very clear, DeepGreen Metals is a start-up
mining company with an ambitious agenda to make BIG money as
quickly as possible regardless of the social and
environmental impacts. Describing itself as ‘a developer
of lower impact battery metals’ is ludicrous greenwashing.
Metals are not ‘developed’, they are mined. DeepGreen
under its new moniker – The Metals Company – plans to
mine unique biodiverse deep sea ecosystems that are largely
still unknown to science.”

There are currently no
operating deep sea mining projects in the world and
environmental concerns are being raised by internationally
recognised scientists and civil society across the globe.
The more we explore the deep sea the more we are learning of
the complex eco-systems that exist. There is currently no
way to assess the environmental or social impacts of deep
sea mining which is why over 90 organisations and
individuals worldwide are calling
for a
and others, including Sir
David Attenborough
are calling for a ban
on deep sea mining

Dr Catherine Coumans,
MiningWatch Canada argued, “The rocks that DeepGreen
‘The Metal Company’ plan to mine have taken millions of
years to form and host diverse and unique life forms. Scientists
that the destruction of this seabed ecosystem will
affect the health of our oceans and planet. They predict
that the impacts would be extensive, severe and last for

on the science, the United Nations Environment Program
(UNEP) has just released practical
guidance for finance institutions
on sustainable ocean
finance. Investors should note that this UNEP guidance is
clear in its exclusion of deep sea mining as a sustainable
continued Dr Coumans.

Dr. Rosenbaum concluded: “ESG
and Impact Investors should take a serious look at
alternatives to mining virgin metals. A new wave of urban
mining companies is on the cusp of supplying minerals with
simple, low-cost technologies, flexible scales for diverse
locations, and win-win social and environmental outcomes.
The scope to produce metals in this manner is immense and
recession proof – not only from the huge global stockpiles
of electronic wastes but also from existing mine tailings
wastes. Investments in deep sea mining might well end up
being stranded

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