TMC and Kongsberg Digital Announce Next Phase of Agreement to Bring AI and Hybrid Machine Learning to Future Deep-sea Nodule Collection Operations

  • The renewed agreement will see the parties further develop their Digital Twin which will integrate multiple data streams from TMC’s future production system and will enable 3D visualization of its deep-sea operating environment, providing ‘eyes and ears’ to the regulator and stakeholders
  • In 2022, TMC took delivery of a prototype of the Digital Twin which was deployed during successful test mining conducted by its subsidiary NORI and gathered rich data on the operational and environmental performance of TMC’s full production system.
  • The Digital Twin is a core component of TMC’s broader Adaptive Management System (AMS) which is designed to utilise AI and hybrid machine learning capabilities of the Digital Twin with expert analysis to ensure operations remain within environmental impact thresholds, a system with potential applications for resource operations at sea and on land.

NEW YORK, Sept. 06, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TMC the metals company Inc. (Nasdaq: TMC) (the “Company” or “TMC”), an explorer of lower-impact battery metals from seafloor polymetallic nodules, today announced that it had entered into the next phase of its relationship with Kongsberg Digital, a Norwegian leading software company that unlocks the value of data for customers within the maritime, energy, renewables, and power grid industries, to further develop the Digital Twin of the deep-sea operating environment of NORI Area D.

Following the successful trials of the prototype Digital Twin during test mining conducted by TMC subsidiary Nauru Ocean Resources Inc. (NORI) in 2022, the parties will now build upon the system’s capabilities by incorporating additional data streams which will be used to train AI models to determine key outcomes of its full production system, including the environmental impacts of robotic collectors operating on the seafloor.

Ahead of NORI’s expected first production in Q4 2025, the extensive range of data gathered throughout the water column by a suite of marine sensors and ingested into the Digital Twin will enable 3D visualization of deep-sea operations in a dynamic dashboard for review by stakeholders. The Company believes its AI-driven virtual operating environment will enable one of the most transparent natural resource projects in history.

Gerard Barron, Chairman and CEO of The Metals Company, said: “The Digital Twin and AMS will bring unprecedented visibility to our NORI-D nodule project, enabling the regulator and stakeholders to see exactly what we are doing, and when and where we’re doing it. This is the world’s first digital twin for subsea nodule collection and in the future, when combined with our AMS, there is potential for this system to enable operational optimization and transparency across other projects, whether in the deep sea or on land. This is a mission-critical system for us, and we could not have chosen a better, more experienced partner than Kongsberg Digital, who proved during test mining last year that they are well up to the task.”

Andy Jones, Chief Technology Officer for The Metals Company, said: “The hybrid machine learning capability enabled by Kongsberg Digital’s Kognitwin is important to our future deep-sea operations and environmental monitoring as it provides us with the proven accuracy and reliability of physics-based modelling combined with data-driven models for near real-time predictions and optimizations. This AI-driven approach will enable continuous learning and adaptation and enable us to test ‘what-if’ scenarios, allowing NORI to optimize for efficient operations while minimizing environmental impacts.”

“In the case of NORI-D there is expected to be an immense amount of live operational sensor telemetry feeding into the system. For example, an interactive web-based dashboard might show a mine plan of the collector vehicle on the seabed, in conjunction with the production vessel and a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) all moving synchronously along the same paths over time. Hovering the cursor over the collector vehicle can callout its speed, direction, depth, efficiency metrics at any point in time. The regulator will also be able to monitor the plume attributes in near-real time, and operators can make adjustments based on this data and conduct simulations to maintain plume dispersal within predetermined thresholds.”

The Company plans to build out its AMS as a state-of-the-art, iterative and predictive system that will use environmental and operational data to enable TMC to keep its deep-sea activities within ecological thresholds expected to be set by the International Seabed Authority. The AMS will draw on expert opinion and hybrid machine learning to improve operational efficiencies and potentially reduce environmental impacts over time.

TMC believes that the AMS that it is currently developing has potential applications beyond the nodule collection industry and may look to explore these in the future.

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 clean energy transition with the least possible negative environmental and social impact and (2) accelerate the transition to a circular metal economy. 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 about The Metals Company is available at www.metals.co.

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

About Kongsberg Digital
Kongsberg Digital, a subsidiary of KONGSBERG, is an industrial software company shaping the future of work by changing how businesses design, operate and maintain their assets. Businesses trust us for our innovative carbon capture and storage technology, new energy ventures towards net zero, voyage optimisation, emissions reduction, and technology to help balance grids and complex power systems. We are transforming carbon-intensive industries by providing industry-leading solutions that extract value from industrial data. We enable businesses to connect physical assets to an industrial work surface, serving as one common infrastructure for decision-making across the value chain.

Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements made in this press release are not historical facts but are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements generally are accompanied by words such as “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect,” “should,” “would,” “plan,” “predict,” “potential,” “seem,” “seek,” “future,” “outlook” and similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, without limitation, statements regarding the development, use and accuracy of any technology developed by TMC and its partners, agents and/or service providers to support its operations. These forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Most of these factors are outside TMC’s control and are difficult to predict. Factors that may cause such differences include, but are not limited to: regulatory uncertainties and the impact of government regulation and political instability on TMC’s resource activities; changes to any of the laws, rules, regulations or policies to which TMC is subject; the impact of extensive and costly environmental requirements on TMC’s operations; environmental liabilities; the impact of polymetallic nodule collection on biodiversity in the Clarion Clipperton Zone and recovery rates of impacted ecosystems; TMC’s ability to develop minerals in sufficient grade or quantities to justify commercial operations; the lack of development of seafloor polymetallic nodule deposit; 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 TMC may recover; risks associated with collective, development and processing operations; fluctuations in transportation costs; testing and manufacturing of equipment, including software and hardware needed to support the collection, transport and processing of nodules, including the Digital Twin and the AMS; risks associated with TMC’s limited operating history; risks associated with TMC’s intellectual property and the validity, use and ownership of any new technology or intellectual property subsisting therein; 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 the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on March 27, 2023, as well as in other filings the Company may make with the SEC in the future. TMC cautions that the foregoing list of factors is not exclusive. TMC cautions readers not to place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. TMC does not undertake or accept any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect any change in its expectations or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which any such statement is based except as required by law.


TMC and Kongsberg Digital Announce Next Phase of Agreement to Bring AI and Hybrid Machine Learning to Future Deep-sea Nodule Collection Operations

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