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The Metals Company Processing Pilot Campaign Converts Seafloor Nodules into Alloy Containing Critical Battery Metals

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  • The work brings The Metals Company one step closer to realizing its ambition of pursuing full-scale metallurgical processing plant to produce critical battery metals

NEW YORK, September 24, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Metals Company (Nasdaq: TMC), an explorer of lower-impact battery metals from seafloor polymetallic nodules, today announced that it derived an alloy comprised of high-grade battery metals from its pilot smelting campaign, conducted in partnership with Expert Process Solutions (XPS) with support from Hatch and Optimize Group. The smelting work builds on last year’s calcining campaign at FLSmidth’s facilities, which demonstrated that conventional, well-proven rotary kiln technology can be utilised for this process

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The Metals Company Processing Pilot Campaign Converts Seafloor Nodules into Alloy Containing Critical Battery Metals (Photo: Business Wire)

Led by The Metals Company’s Head of Onshore Development, Dr. Jeffrey Donald, the pilot project team utilized a custom process derived from conventional nickel flowsheets to segregate the base metals contained in the nodules into two concentrated streams: an alloy comprised of critical metals essential for EV batteries and wiring including nickel, cobalt, and copper; and a manganese silicate which can be sold direct to market and further processed to manganese alloy — a critical input to steel production.

"From a metallurgical perspective, nodules are a great feedstock to work with," said Dr. Donald. "They have high grades of valuable metals, few impurities, low variability, and come in shapes and sizes that make them very easy to handle, significantly reducing the cost and complexity of the processing."

This latest stage in The Metals Company’s pilot processing program brings the company one step closer to realizing its ambition of building a full-scale metallurgical processing plant and advances the company’s mission of eliminating the solid waste streams and harmful tailings and residues associated with conventional land-based metal mining and production.

"These encouraging results show that nodules could provide an attractive alternative to land-based ores for securing high-volumes of the critical metals needed to achieve energy independence," said Gerard Barron, Chairman and CEO of The Metals Company. "With the potential to ship them anywhere in the world for processing, nodules could help solve national supply needs for important metals like nickel and manganese."

The Metals Company’s metallurgical strategy is to use a flowsheet which utilizes conventional equipment in a process that intends to generate near-zero solid waste. Compared to land-based ores, polymetallic nodules have relatively lower levels of harmful elements, and the company’s planned dual pyro / hydro-metallurgical process is expected to allow for residues to be recycled to the smelter and for the selection of reagents that produce products instead of waste.

About The Metals Company
TMC the metals company Inc. (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 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.

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, TMC’s expectations with respect to building a full-scale metallurgical processing plant and eliminating the solid waste streams and harmful tailings and residues associated with conventional metal mining and production, the ability of nodules to help solve national supply needs for nickel and manganese, and the success of TMC’s planned dual pyro / hydro-metallurgical process. 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 CCZ 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; risks associated with TMC’s limited operating history; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; risks associated with TMC’s intellectual property; and other risks and uncertainties indicated from time to time in the final prospectus and definitive proxy statement, dated and filed with the SEC on August 12, 2021 relating to the recently completed business combination, including those under "Risk Factors" therein, and in TMC’s other future filings with the SEC. 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.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210924005053/en/

Contacts

Media

Rory Usher | The Metals Company | rory@metals.co

Chelsea Lauber | Antenna Group | tmc@antennagroup.com

Investors | investors@metals.co

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